This healthy, 35 minute, gluten free salmon Nicoise salad recipe is perfect for just about any lunch or dinner occasion. And I am not only going to show how to make the salmon skin crispy, but I will show you how to make it extra crispy!
Yes, that’s right, extra crispy salmon skin! Just to make perfectly cooked pan fried salmon that little bit extra special. Keep reading to find out how prepare salmon like this!
Extra Crispy Skin
Achieving an extra crispy skin on your salmon isn’t just about what you do whilst you cook the salmon, but what you do before and after the salmon is cooked.
So first, make sure the salmon skin is scaled and dried out, make a couple of incisions in the salmon, and then season the salmon with salt and pepper.
Now, pre-heat the oil in preferably non stick pan over a high flame. Once the pan and oil have pre-heated for a good minute or 2, carefully add the salmon skin side down.
Now usually, I would recommend that you cook a piece of salmon for about 2 minutes on each side. However, since we are cooking salmon with the skin on, I recommend cooking the salmon for 4 minutes skin side down, then cook for a further 1-2 minutes on the other side.
The reason is that the salmon skin needs to get crispy, but also because there is no direct heat on the flesh when cooking the salmon skin side down, so the salmon needs a bit more time to cook. And what’s nice about this, is that the skin protects the flesh of the salmon, which makes it less likely for the salmon to overcook in my experience.
Now, once the salmon is cooked, remove it from the pan, and then use a small knife to carefully remove the skin from the salmon. It should come off quite easily.
Finally, re-head the oil in the pan over medium heat, then add the skin with the side that hasn’t been fried yet facing down. Fry that skin for about 30 seconds – 1 minute, then transfer the beautiful crispy skin onto kitchen paper.
And that’s it! From there you just need to serve the salmon and the extra crispy skin with your salad. And as you can see, making that skin extra crispy only requires a couple of extra steps that will take an extra 2 minutes of your time.
And that extra time spent is definitely worth it if you ask me.
Tuna is one of the most popular ingredients to serve with Nicoise salad. And I can understand why because it is such a beautiful fish.
In this Grilled Tuna with Mixed Greens recipe post, I show you how to make the most amazing grilled tuna where the fish is just blushing inside.
So if want to check out that post, and replace the salmon with the grilled tuna, feel more than free to do so!
Making the lemon, caper and anchovy dressing is as simple as putting all of the ingredients in a blender (which involves lemon juice, an anchovy fillet, capers, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper). And then blending them until they are all well combined, leaving you with a wonderful vinaigrette.
If you don’t have a blender, then you can whisk the lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper together until you achieve a nice vinaigrette. Then just chop your capers, anchovies and garlic clove up nice and fine before adding to the vinaigrette.
And if you’re not a fan of anchovies, you don’t have to add them but keep in mind, they’re just going to act more as a seasoning, they won’t make your dressing taste fishy.
And speaking of salty anchovies, be careful with how much salt you add because the anchovies and the capers are already quite salty.
Cheap alternative to fresh fish?
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford fresh fish, then you can buy canned tuna or salmon and mix it through your salad. And although it won’t be as specky, you will still end up with a fantastic Nicoise salad.
And since you don’t have to cook the fish, it won’t take as long to prepare so that’s another bonus of using canned fish.
Other Salad Recipes
Here are some other salad recipes that you may want to check out!
- Broccoli Caesar Salad with Spiced Caesar Dressing
- Epic Crouton, Walnut, Halloumi and Crispy Chorizo Salad
As always, thank you all so much for reading through my post, enjoy the recipe and subscribe to stay updated for new recipe posts and to receive a free recipe Ebook. Or, you can stay updated by following me on Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram
Salmon Nicoise with Extra Crispy Skin
Salmon served with skin that is extra crispy, and with the French classic, the salad nicoise.
Lemon, Caper and Anchovy Dressing
- 1½ tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 anchovy fillet
- 1½ teaspoon of capers
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
Crispy Salmon Nicoise
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 baby potatoes/new potatoes washed and cut into inch-thick dices
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 4-5 blocks of ice
- 4 Salmon portions with skin on make sure they are scaled
- 160 g of marinated jarred/tinned artichokes quartered
- 200 g of cherry tomatoes halved
- 100 g of pitted black olives halved
- 300 g of cos lettuce leaves washed dried and ripped into chunky pieces
- A good handful of flat-leaf parsley roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons of capers
- 1 shallot peeled and thinly sliced
Lemon, Caper and Anchovy Dressing
Put all of the dressing ingredients in a blender, season with salt and pepper, and then blitz for about 1 minute until you have a nice smooth dressing.
Pre-heat a frying pan over medium-high heat for a minute or 2. Add your olive oil, then add your potatoes, fry for about 10 minutes until cooked and golden brown tossing/stirring occasionally. When the potatoes are done, season them with salt and pepper, turn the heat off and transfer them onto kitchen paper to drain, do not discard the pan.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water up to a gentle simmer, then gently lower your eggs in the simmering water. Cook the eggs for 8 minutes. Whilst the eggs are cooking, put your ice into a bowl of cold water.
Once the eggs are cooked, transfer them into the ice water to shock them. Crack them, then carefully peel them. One the eggs are peeled, quarter the them.
Put the artichokes, cherry tomatoes, black olives, coz lettuce, parsley, capers and sliced shallots in a bowl and use you clean hands to mix the ingredients together until well combined.
Dry your salmon skin with kitchen paper, then cut a couple of incisions in the salmon skin, season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper, pre-heat the frying pan again on high heat, ensuring it is nice and hot. Add the rest of your olive oil and then gently place the salmon in the pan skin side down. Fry for 4 minutes, then use a fish slice to carefully flip the salmon, fry for another 1-2 minutes on the other side and transfer the salmon to a plate or board.
Carefully remove the skin away from the salmon, use a small knife to help you. Get the pan back on the heat (add a touch for olive oil if need be) and add your skin back to the pan to fry on the side that isn't crispy. Fry for about 30-60 seconds, then transfer onto kitchen paper to drain.
Add your dressing to the salad mixture, then mix together with you clean hands.
Serve the salmon on a plate with the crispy skin. Add some of your salad mixture on the side. Garnish with your crispy potatoes and your eggs.
- If you want this dish to be extra healthy, you can poach the salmon instead of pan frying it. I show how to poach salmon in this Flaked Salmon Salad recipe post.
- There are a lot of elements to this salad recipe, so make sure all of your ingredients are prepared before you start cooking.
- Make some incisions on the salmon skin and dry it out before you start frying it.
- To make the skin extra crispy, carefully remove it with a small knife once the salmon is cooked, and then fry the skin on the other side for about half a minute.
- Tuna is a great alternative to salmon.
- If you don't have a blender for the dressing, whisk the lemon, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper together to create a vinaigrette. Then chop the capers, anchovy and garlic really fine before adding them to the dressing.
- If you don't like anchovies, you don't have to add it to the dressing.
- Since anchovies are already quite salty, be careful with how much salt you add to the dressing.
- Canned tuna or salmon can be a cheap and quick alternative to fresh fish if you're on a budget.