simple recipes

Salmon Nicoise Salad

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Hello, friends!  It's been quite a while since my last post.  This season has been a packed one that seems to have flown by.  I was super excited to get away this Memorial Day weekend.  Kyle and I took a trip to the ranch, which meant no phones or computers or social media - just family, exploring, reading, writing and grilling.  It was just the right balance of exploration and rest. We navigated our way along streams that opened to fresh pools of cold water surrounded by the greenest grass (a very unique find in the Texas - New Mexico desert) and we made ourselves at home on the large rocking chairs that lined our front porch with plenty of reading and writing material in hand (& morning visits from our peacock friend, which you know about if you saw my IG post, ha).  Given the time and lack of technology, I got to catch up on all of my fun reading, brainstorm new recipes and articles, and start making progress on recipes I have been wanting to post for some time now.

As summer is quickly approaching, I thought getting my Salmon Nicoise Salad up would be a good first step.  It's fairly simple to throw together and, although a salad, it is hearty enough for a filling and satisfying weeknight or weekend dinner.  Not only is it simple and filling but wild salmon is also reaching its peak season as we speak, making it a perfect time to give this recipe a try!  Parts of this salad can also be prepped ahead of time, which is great if you're making this for company and want more time to talk and hang out vs being in the kitchen. I'm excited to finally get this recipe up and here it is - my Salmon Nicoise Salad.  It's recipe that friends and family have enjoyed these last few months and I think you will enjoy as well!

Happy Fueling!




Serves 3 - 4

INGREDIENTS (for Salad):

  • Two 6-ounce salmon filets

  • 1/8 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

  • Pepper, to taste

  • 1 medium lemon, sliced into 6 thin slices

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (about 4 cups diced raw)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, to cook potatoes

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise

  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed

  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives (drained of juice)

  • 2 tablespoons capers (drained of juices)

  • 3 cups mixed greens

  • Champagne Vinaigrette - see recipe below

INGREDIENTS (for Dressing):

  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


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Dressing whisked!

Dressing whisked!

Olive mix & greens tossed together with dressing and added as base of dinner plate

Olive mix & greens tossed together with dressing and added as base of dinner plate

Layer roasted sweet potatoes, steamed green beans & flaked salmon to dish. Serve with the roasted lemon slices.

Layer roasted sweet potatoes, steamed green beans & flaked salmon to dish. Serve with the roasted lemon slices.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and place both salmon filets on baking sheet.

  3. Sprinkle salmon filets with a pinch of salt and cracked pepper (<1/8 teaspoon salt on each).

  4. Top each salmon filet with 3 slices of lemon, covering the length of the filet and set salmon aside.

  5. Line separate large baking sheet with parchment paper (may need 2 - see step #7).

  6. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.

  7. Spread the potatoes out onto the large prepared baking sheet (use 2 baking sheets if the pan gets too crowded).

  8. Place sweet potatoes in the preheated 400 degree oven on the top rack and cook for about 35 minutes, flipping the potatoes about 15 - 20 minutes into cooking. If cooking potatoes on bottom shelf, turn or stir about 10 minutes into cooking to prevent burning on one side.

  9. While potatoes cook, add capers, olives, tomatoes, and mix greens to a bowl and set aside.

  10. Now start the green beans.. Fill a medium pot with about 1/2 - inch water and bring to a boil. Add the steamer basket to the pot followed by the green beans. Cover the pot and allow beans to steam about 5 minutes. After the beans have cooked, turn the burner off but leave beans in the basket covered to stay warm.

  11. When the potatoes have about 15 minutes left, add the salmon filets to the oven and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes (cooking time of salmon will vary. A general rule is to cook the salmon 10 minutes for every inch thickness).

  12. While the salmon & sweet potatoes cook, make the dressing by whisking together all dressing ingredients. Or add to a small jar and shake really well!

  13. Add about 1 tablespoon of the dressing to the greens-caper mix and toss to combine.

  14. After the last 15 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and turn the oven on broil, cooking just the salmon filets about 1 more minute. The lemons will brown and caramelize slightly. Remove from the oven.

  15. Now that all items are cooked, to a dinner plate: Place 1/2 salad mix. Add 3/4 cup green beans to one side of plate. Add 3/4 cup of sweet potatoes to another side of plate. Flake the warm salmon in the middle.

  16. Serve with the remaining dressing, caramelized lemon slices and warm crusty bread.

  17. Enjoy!



Green Beans:  folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A

Sweet Potatoes:  beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese

Lemons: vitamin C

Dressing:  monounsaturated fat, vitamin E

Salmon:  omega 3 fatty acids, protein, B12, selenium

Spinach:  vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron


Did you know what the different types of salmon mean?  I didn't really until recently when I asked the man at the fish counter about it and then read an article on it in my new Cook's Illustrated magazine.  Yes, knowing the difference between these can play a role in what you choose from a nutrition perspective, but it may also help your friend or family member like salmon!  Salmon can certainly be a fishier fish, but some varieties are more mild than others.  Here is a brief rundown of what I now know....

WILD SALMON (Coho / King / Sockeye) - leaner, tougher, a stronger flavor

FARM RAISED (Atlantic / King salmon) - milder flavor, more omega-3's (fattier fish), a softer, flakier texture (some say "buttery").

Want more details on the salmon varieties?  There's a good overview here. (Thanks Cook's Illustrated!) or here (thanks Food & Nutrition magazine)!


DIY Roasted Red Peppers

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As a Christmas gift last year my brother and sister-in-law, who, I think, are some of the best and most creative gift - givers I know, got me a subscription to Cook's Illustrated.  I LOVE this particular gift.  If you are not familiar with this magazine it is excellent for those curious about food and cooking.  The magazine contains articles that focus on everything from different cooking utensils to methods of cooking various foods and it walks you through various cooking trials explaining what went poorly and what worked the best.  I think it's excellent for the curious chef and non - chef alike :).

Now, what caught my eye in this most recent issue was a small section on roasting bell peppers yourself (vs buying the jarred roasted red peppers), something I have tried a handful of times in the past and failed somewhat miserably the majority of the time.  I was super excited to give Cook's Illustrated's recommendation a try, especially because I was planning on making a recipe that called for these that coming week.  I followed their detailed and simple directions to a "T" and it worked beautifully!  The peppers came out hot with the skin bubbled and able to be peeled off easily.  They added a pop of color to my dish and their soft texture and sweet taste was the perfect complement to the more savory components of the meal.

Of course, you can use the jarred roasted red peppers (and I probably still will from time to time), but I love the idea of using fresh peppers that I've just selected from the  grocery store or Farmers Market.  And I love it even more when I know they will be so easy to roast on my own.  I have used roasted bell peppers in two recent recipes already this past week, both of which I have shared on my Instagram page (one recipe I incorporated big dices of the peppers & the other I blended with sautéed garlic and onions for a rich roasted red pepper pasta sauce).  This method really has proven to be simple and successful and I'm so jazzed about it that I want to share it with you today. I hope you will find these directions helpful and that they encourage you to start incorporating these colorful, sweet & fueling summer veggies in more of your upcoming summer meals.

So, here is Cook's Illustrated's instructions for roasting your own bell peppers.  Thanks you Cook's Illustrated for the cooking tips!

Happy Fueling!




  • One or more red bell peppers

  • Cooking spray or 2 tablespoons (about) of vegetable oil


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1. Wash & dry your bell peppers. I used 3 peppers (about 1.5 pounds).

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray or lightly coat foil with vegetable oil.

3. Slice off tops & bottoms of peppers, cutting 1/2 inch from tops and bottoms.

4. Gently remove stems from tops and twist & pull out each core, using a knife to loosen at edges if necessary.

5. Cut a slit down 1 side of each bell pepper.

6. Turn each bell pepper skin side down and gently press so it opens to create long strips.

7. Slide a knife along insides of bell peppers to remove remaining ribs and seeds.

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8. Arrange pepper strips, tops, and bottoms skin side up on the prepared sheet and flatten all pieces with your hand.

9. Adjust oven rack 3 to 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.

10. Broil until skin is puffed and most of surface is well charred, 10 - 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through broiling.

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11. Using tongs, pile bell peppers in center of foil.

12. Gather foil over bell peppers and crimp to form pouch. Let steam for about 10 minutes.

13. Open foil packet and spread out bell peppers.

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14. When cool enough to handle, peel bell peppers and discard skins.

15. Add to your favorite entree, side or salad or puree for a delicious sauce!

16. These peppers can also be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

17. Enjoy!


Bell Peppers pack a punch by providing a good source of: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese