A classic marriage of savoury smoked salmon with creamy avocado and then a pop of freshness with the zucchini ribbons, arugula and mint leaves. A delicious, no cook salad that is prepared in under 20 minutes.
Why You’ll Love Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad
When you are working home, lunch can be such a dilemma.
Easy, quick and tasty. These are the three things I want when making lunch for myself. But sometimes quick and easy also means something not so healthy. Leftovers are good, but it gets a bit boring when we are eating the same thing again.
So I try to have a few things in my fridge and pantry that I can always rely on for a tasty and super easy light lunch.
Cold smoked salmon, avocados and a good loaf of sourdough. That’s a delicious lunch already. Easily bought and stored in the fridge and pantry.
Smoked salmon and avocado is a classic pairing. A great combination to create a delicious salad.
Add an easy mix of shaved zucchini ribbons, arugula, mint leaves and capers with a zesty dill creme fraiche dressing, and you have a light and fresh salad that works for the everyday lunch or a long weekend brunch with friends.
What is Sir Prize Avocado?
For this smoked salmon avocado salad recipe, I was lucky enough to try a new range of avocado, Sir Prize, from All Aussie Farmers.
A Mexican hybrid, Sir Prize avocado is known for having an excellent seed to flesh ratio. Meaning there is more yummy flesh and a small seed size. The fruit is a pear shape with shiny dark green skin. It is also very easy to peel as the skin is thin and very pliable, less pebbly than Hass avocado.
Another interesting characteristic of Sir Prize Avocado is that it doesn’t turn brown when cut. Yup, you read correctly. It doesn’t oxidise like other avocado varieties.
I was quite shocked myself when I heard this. Of course, I had to test it myself, and it did not disappoint. The cut Sir Prize avocado was perfectly green and delicious after leaving it out for over 1 hour. No brown spots in sight. So be surprised with Sir Prize avocados!
What Does Sir Prize Avocado Taste Like?
Sir Prize avocado is similar to Hass avocado with soft buttery flesh but with a nutty flavour. To me, it was less creamy but still soft and can be easily spread when ripe. I prefer the flavours of Sir Prize avocado to be slightly overripe.
These would be great in our Red Beet Eggs Salad and Smashed Avocado and Nourish Bowl with Miso Avocado Dressing.
Difference Between Cold Smoked Salmon and Hot Smoked Salmon
Smoking fish is not a new invention. The Vikings smoked fish and meat to prepare for long Nordic winters.
Over time, variations were introduced by various cultures, but essentially the same principles apply. They were using salt and smoking to preserve fish to keep it edible for an extended period of time.
The difference between hot and cold smoked salmon is the temperature that the fish is smoked, not the temperature at which the fish is served.
I find the most common type of smoked salmon served is cold smoked salmon. Dry-cured in a large amount of salt and then smoked in temperatures less than 25°c or 80°F for about 18-24 hours.
This process draws out the moisture to cure the fish and then smoked to preserve the flesh.
Cold smoked salmon is not fully cooked as such; hence the result is a raw-like texture. The flesh feels soft, lush and velvety with a savoury flavour that lends itself to many culinary uses.
We love cold smoked salmon in antipasto platters, sandwiches, pasta, sushi rolls and of course in salads.
On the other hand, hot smoked salmon gets soaked in a wet brine rather than dry-curing and then smoked at high temperatures above 45°c or 115°F. This process essentially cooks and preserves the fish.
The result will give you fish resembling a cooked piece of salmon and with flaky chunks of savoury salmon that is delicately smoked.
Hot smoked salmon is great on its own or tossed into salads. You can try our Asian Pear Salad with Soba and Hot Smoked Salmon, Risoni Salad with Hot Smoked Salmon and Crab or Asparagus and Hot Smoked Salmon Salad.
Both versions of smoked salmon are versatile ingredients to have in your fridge ready to go.
Flavour/Texture: I love the perfect balance of savoury smoked salmon with creamy avocado. Together with the pop of freshness created by the zucchini ribbons, arugula, mint leaves and capers, the mix was so refreshing.
The dill crème fraîche dressing also added another dimension of lush creaminess.
Ease: I found it very easy to put together. First up, there is no cooking, just a few ingredients that need slicing. The dill crème fraîche dressing only takes a couple of minutes to whip up as well.
Time: This would be a quick salad to prepare in under 20 minutes. The main time is spent on slicing avocado and shaving the zucchini ribbons.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad:
Avocado: For this recipe, I used Sir Prize avocados. The creamy texture with nutty flavours matched well against the smoked salmon. Plus, with limited oxidisation, it was perfect for serving for a long lunch.
If Sir Prize avocados are not available, any of your favourite avocado variety is suitable for this recipe.
Smoked salmon: Cold smoked salmon is usually sold pre-sliced and packaged. You can store extra slices for the rest of the week to put in bagels or sandwiches. Alternatively, freeze it to use in pasta or risotto dishes later.
If you wish to try your hand at making your own cured salmon, you can try Amy’s recipe for Beetroot Cured Salmon. I feel it would look spectacular in this salad as well.
Zucchini: I chose slightly smaller zucchinis to make zucchini ribbons. I find them sweeter and not so clumsy and big in the salad. Make sure the zucchini is fresh as we are serving them raw.
Mint: One of my favourite herbs. It is a very easy herb to grow as they keep coming back! Mint adds another level of freshness to the salad.
Arugula: Also known as rocket, gives a peppery flavour to the salad. Combining with mint and zucchini ribbons is so refreshing.
Capers: You can find them in your pickled vegetable aisle at the supermarket. Next to the olives and cornichons. I would buy baby-sized capers rather than the regular ones as I like the tiny pops in this salad.
Dill: A great match with salmon as dill has a hint of citrus and aniseed flavours. Works perfectly with the crème fraîche.
Crème fraîche: Crème fraîche is essentially the French version of sour cream. I find crème fraîche to be creamy with a silky consistency.
It has higher fat content than sour cream, making it less likely to split when you cook with it. Sour cream has a more sour taste whilst crème fraîche is more creamy and tart.
Lemon juice: The slightly thick consistency of crème fraîche needs a little citrus to cut through the fat. Fresh lemon juice adds a little more acidity.
Variations and Substitutions
Main meal vs side salad: You can serve this salad as a main meal or side dish. I would serve 2 slices of cold smoked salmon per person for this salad if you have it as a main meal. You can reduce the number of slices if having it with other dishes.
Hot smoked salmon variation: If you happen to have hot smoked salmon in the fridge and not cold smoked salmon, I would be happy to substitute cold smoked salmon for hot smoked salmon. Delicious with avocado and fresh salad.
Substituting crème fraîche: As much as I love using crème fraîche, it is not always available in supermarkets. If you can’t find it, substituting crème fraîche is easy for this recipe. Try using sour cream, greek yoghurt or plant-based yoghurt.
If using sour cream or greek yoghurt, add ½ lemon juice first, taste and then add the rest depending on the acidity.
Vegetarian option: You can omit smoked salmon from this recipe and add extra avocado for a vegetarian option. I have not tried making creamy dressings with soy yoghurt, but there is no harm in trying!
Step by step instructions for how to make Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad:
How To Prepare The Salad
Cut avocado in half and gently prise the flesh from the peel. Remove avocado stone
Lay avocado cut side down and gently thinly slice lengthwise.
Delicately apply pressure and start to fan out avocado until the shape you need.
Remove cold smoked salmon from packaging, ready for assembly.
Trim zucchini top and bottom and carefully use a Y peeler to shave zucchini lengthwise into long, thin ribbons. Repeat with both zucchini.
Wash and pick mint leaves from the stalk. Roughly tear up for assembly.
Wash and rinse arugula leaves.
How To Prepare Dill Creme Fraiche
Wash and pick dill fronds from the stalk. Finely chop dill to yield 2 tablespoons.
In a small mixing bowl, add creme fraiche, chopped dill, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well until combined.
If you find the dressing to be a bit thick, add a tablespoon of olive oil.
How To Assemble Salad
You can serve this smoked salmon avocado salad on a large platter to share, but I did plate it individually for lunch. I also served it over a slice of sourdough toast, but again this is optional.
In a medium mixing bowl, add zucchini ribbons, mint leaves, arugula and capers. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and squeeze half of the lemon.
Toss green salad components together until nicely covered with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
Place a slice of sourdough toast on the plate.
Layer two slices of smoked salmon on top. Next to smoked salmon, place ¼ sliced avocado.
Separate the green salad component into four equal portions. Add one portion on top next to the smoked salmon.
Use a spoon and smear a dollop of dill crème fraîche next to the salad.
Season with salt and pepper.
Great Main Dishes for This Salad
This Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad deserves a great main. Here are some recipes for inspiration:
If you’re in a full seafood/fish meal, this garlic prawn (shrimp) pasta can easily be whipped up in 15 minutes.
Spring asparagus risotto and potato gnocchi in mushroom cream sauce are awesome pasta dishes that offer up some hearty vegetarian options to balance out the smoked salmon salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can easily transport this salad with components in separate containers. Best to dress the green salad components at the time of serving.
In Australia, cold smoked salmon can be quite expensive. It is, however, more reasonably priced when you buy in a larger packet.
You can store unopened smoked salmon packages in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or 1 week after it’s open. However, we always recommend to check the on-pack best before date.
So what happens when you still have a lot leftover? Can you freeze smoked salmon?
Yes, you can freeze smoked salmon.
If you haven’t opened the package, you can place the unopened package directly into the freezer. If it is opened, make sure you use a freezer-friendly sealable bag. Check there are no gaps for air to come in.
You can safely freeze smoked salmon for up to 6 months. However, best to consume it as soon as you defrost it.
Some producers do not recommend freezing cold smoked salmon because it may not be the same quality as fresh cold smoked salmon. I am always happy to use it in pasta or rice dishes.
Dill is a versatile herb that can be used in different salad recipes and salad dressings. It is fragrant and flavoursome.
The slightly aniseed and citrus properties lends dill to be a great match with protein such as fish, seafood, chicken, and eggs. Vegetables like potato, cucumber, carrots, beets and zucchini also work well with dill.
This easy smoked salmon avocado salad should definitely go on your list of yummy lunch options. I loved serving it as an individual dish but would love to plate it as a sharing platter next time for a brunch session with friends.
Whether you are working from home or entertaining with friends, no more lunch conundrums.
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Smoked Salmon Avocado Salad
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- Peel avocado and cut in half. Lay avocado cut side down and thinly slice lengthwise. Fan out avocado until the shape you need. Set aside for assembly.
- Remove cold smoked salmon from packaging.
- Use a Y peeler to shave zucchini lengthwise into long, thin ribbons. Repeat with both zucchini.
- Wash and pick mint leaves from the stalk. Roughly tear up for assembly.
- Wash and rinse arugula leaves.
- In a small mixing bowl, add creme fraiche, chopped dill, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Mix well until combined.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add zucchini ribbons, mint leaves, arugula and capers.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and squeeze half of the lemon.
- Toss green salad components together until covered.
- This step is optional. Place a slice of sourdough toast on a plate.
- Layer two slices of smoked salmon on top.
- Next to smoked salmon, place ¼ sliced avocado.
- Separate the green salad component into four equal portions. Add one portion on top next to the smoked salmon.
- Use a spoon and smear a dollop of dill crème fraîche next to the salad.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- You can substitute crème fraîche for sour cream, Greek yoghurt or plant-based yoghurt. Adjust the lemon juice if required depending on the crème fraîche substitution.
- For a vegetarian option, omit smoked salmon and double the avocado.
- Serving the salad over a slice of toasted sourdough is optional.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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