Sockeye Salad, with Apple and Goat Cheese

Sockeye Salmon: Ocean and Spawning phases

By Cat, June 20, 2017 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons (3))

I stopped by the local fish-counter to buy some Bristol Bay sockeye salmon today, and there was a recipe card for a salad (1). I always eagerly await the arrival of salmon from Bristol Bay, as it is one of the best fisheries, especially for salmon. A few years ago, it was feared that oil/gas drillers had their eye on those waters. Then it was put under protection by President Obama. Now we fear the Trump administration will open up the precious fishery to the Pebble mine. So I try to do all I can to support that fishery. See Save Bristol Bay (2) for more; click on Stand Up for Bristol Bay on their webpage (2) to send comments.

See also: 1. Fish & Seafood Menu; 2. Salads Menu 

Bristol Bay Sockeye Salad

This recipe is adapted from a recipe card from Bristol Bay Sockeye, originally by Melissa Trainer. The original recipe sears the fish on stovetop, then transfers to hot oven to finish cooking. However, I prefer to keep the fish on stovetop to avoid heating the oven during the summer. Another option is to grill the fish.

Most dried cranberries (aka craisins), are sweetened with HFCS (or cane sugar if Organic). But if you shop around you may be able to find those sweetened with honey or fruit juice. If not, substitute dried blueberries or fresh huckleberries.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp raw, local honey
  • 3 Tbsp pure olive oil
  • unrefined sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Salad:
  • 2 – 3 cups mixed baby greens such as butter head, kale, beet, arugula, and spinach
  • 1 small apple
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries (sweetened with honey or fruit juice), or dried blueberries, or fresh huckleberries
  • ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts (see Toasting Nuts & Seeds to toast your own)
  • 4 oz log of goat cheese, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or lard
  • 10 oz salmon fillet, or two 5 oz fillets
  • Equipment:
  • blender
  • large bowl
  • 2 salad plates
  • cast iron skillet
  • oven (optional)


  1. Vinaigrette: combine mustard, vengar and honey in blender. Add oil in a slow stream while blender is running. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Salad: Preheat oven to 400°F (if you don’t intend to cook salmon on stovetop).
  3. Wash and drain greens in a colander, then set aside to dry. Halve and core the apple, then cut into ¼” slices.  Slice goat cheese.
  4. Combine mixed greens with apple berries and hazelnuts in large bowl. Toss gently with some of the vinaigrette, to taste. Divide between 2 plates. Top with goat cheese slices.
  5. Pat salmon dry and heat a cast iron skillet with about 1 Tbsp coconut oil or lard over moderately high heat. Sear salmon for about 30 seconds on each side.
  6. Lower heat to medium, cover and cook until done, about 4 – 6 minutes. Alternately, transfer salmon in the skillet to preheated oven and cook for about 4 – 6 minutes, or until flesh is translucent.
  7. Remove skin from fish, and cut filet into two pieces if needed. Arrange each on top of the salad plate. Drizzle with additional vinaigrette.


  1. Bristol Bay Sockeye (
  2. and take action at
  3. Original file name on Wikimedia Commons is Ocean_phase_and_spawning_phase_sockeye_salmon.jpg; I renamed as “sockeye-salmon_Ocean-Spawn phases_wiki.jpg;

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