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Best Mother's Day Brunch Recipes: Salmon Niçoise salad recipe is one of my favorites. It has tender cooked salmon, lentils, potatoes, asparagus, and roasted tomatoes. Each element is wonderful on it’s own. Put them all together and you’ve got a gorgeous feast for lunch, brunch or dinner l

Salmon Nicoise Salad

  • Author: Lisa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins
  • Yield: 5 1x


A bountiful composed salad with broiled salmon, lentils, potatoes, asparagus and roasted tomatoes. A great recipe for entertaining because you can make everything ahead of time.


  • Salmon and Marinade
  • 26 ounces skinless salmon fillet, cut into 5 pieces (or about 5 ounces per person)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • For the Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • Lentils
  • 1 ½ cups green (sometimes called brown) lentils, rinsed and picked over.
  • 1 small red onion, peeled, halved and very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (optional)
  • Potatoes
  • 1 ½ - 2 pounds fingerling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely minced (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (optional)
  • Asparagus
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Marinate the Salmon: Mix the marinade ingredients. Put salmon in a non-reactive container, just large enough to hold it in a single layer. Pour marinade on top. Marinate for 1/2 hour at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the fridge.
  2. Roast the Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Spread tomatoes out on top. Toss on thyme sprigs, if using. Roast tomatoes for 25-30 minutes, until they soften and their skins split. Remove pan from the oven and set aside.
  3. Cook the Lentils: In a small bowl toss sliced onion with vinegar. Set aside to let onion soften. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the lentils to the hot water and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 18-22 minutes or until lentils are cooked but still firm. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. While lentils are hot, toss with the 4 tablespoons olive oil, softened onions, garlic clove, and teaspoon of salt. When cool, toss with herbs.
  4. Cook the Potatoes: Put potatoes into a large pot, cover by one inch with water and turn the heat on high. When water boils, cook for 10 minutes and check for doneness. Drain and, while hot, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and shallots. When potatoes are cool, toss with herbs.
  5. Sauté the Asparagus: Coat the bottom of a large heave skillet (cast iron is best) with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set over medium high heat. When the oil is hot add the asparagus and cook, tossing frequently, until cooked but still firm, about 6 minutes.* Transfer asparagus to a plate and set aside.
  6. Broil the Salmon: preheat the broiler. Remove salmon from marinade and arrange on a baking tray, leaving space between the pieces. Cook salmon under the broiled for 6 minutes. Remove tray from oven and immediately tent with foil, fastening the foil to the edges of the pan to keep the steam in. Let the salmon steam for 10 minutes.*
  7. Assemble the Salad: Arrange the salmon, lentils, tomatoes, potatoes, and asparagus on a large platter. Enjoy!


For thick asparagus: brown them for a few minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of water, cover the skillet, and let them steam for 5 minutes or so, until they are cooked through.

Cook The Salmon Ahead: This salmon is delicious at room temperature. It can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead. After cooking, let it cool for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a covered container and store in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before serving.

Cook The Vegetables and Lentils Ahead: The lentil salad can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead. The potatoes, tomatoes and asparagus can be prepared up to three hours ahead. Everything can be stored, covered, in the fridge, and brought to room temp before serving.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: broil
  • Cuisine: Out of This World

Keywords: nicoise salad, composed salad, salmon salad