Every once in a while I make a salad that is so delicious and beautiful I even surprise myself. This Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is one of those times. Truly, it’s amazing.
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Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette on blue plate set on wood table


The Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette:

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, seared salmon served on a bed of roasted butternut squash and greens then drizzled with gorgeous green basil vinaigrette. This fresh basil dressing is made using organic extra virgin olive oil, Champagne vinegar and fresh basil leaves mixed in a food processor or blender. Look at that color! And it literally takes  two minutes (or less) to make.

A small colorful bowl of pesto vinaigrette with salmon salad in the back ground

 Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette~ Paleo, Whole 30


How to Work With Butternut Squash

You are certainly welcome to use already peeled and diced butternut squash purchased at the market. If you do, be sure it’s cut fresh on site and not packaged and sitting on a shelf for days. Usually the store bought are cut into pretty large chunks, so be sure to cut them again into 1/2″ cubes. If you want to go all out and peel and cut your own, here’s how: working with butternut squash can be easy or the hardest thing you will ever do in the kitchen! It depends on the tools you use. You absolutely need a ‘Y’ peeler and a sharp knife. Peel, cut in half, scoop out the seeds (a la Halloween pumpkin) and dice!

A collage of photos of a woman demonstrating how to peel and cut butternut quash for Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

To roast, simply place squash on a parchment covered rimmed cookie sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, toss and place in oven, upper third rack, until edges are golden. I serve roasted butternut squash all by itself as a side dish all the time.

Time saving tip! Always roast more than you need to have with eggs for breakfast the next day!

 Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Searing Salmon and Removing Skin

I love to sear my salmon on the cook top and then I finish in the oven. If you are not a fan of the skin there is a very simple way to remove it, I simply slide my fish spatula between the skin and flesh and the meat lifts right off leaving the skin in the pan.

Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Assemble and you have a beautiful complete meal salad which is high in protein, healthy fats and is both Paleo/Low Carb/Whole 30 compliant!

Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette~ Paleo, Whole 30


 The Recipe: Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette-Paleo/Whole 30

Tips and what you will need:  You will need a food processor or blender (I use a Blend Tec, expensive but you’ll never need another one!) To peel and cut squash you will need a “y” peeler and a good knife. You will also need a rimmed cookie sheet, unbleached parchment paper and a good pan.

Fall Salmon Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Prep Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr

A gorgeous, healthy, complete meal salad! Paleo and Whole 30 compliant!

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy dinner recipe, fall recipes, Whole30 recipe
Servings: 4 salads
Author: Linda Spiker
For Butternut Squash:
  • 4 cups Butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1/2" cubes and roasted
  • 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt pepper
For Salad:
  • 4 cups baby greens
  • 1 small tomato diced
  • 1/2 a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 asparagus spears, 8 cut 3-4" long, the rest cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 large clove garlic. peeled
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • generous pinch sea salt
  • pinch freshly ground pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
For Salmon:
  • Four salmon filets. skin on
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
For Butternut Squash:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven rack in upper third of oven.
  2. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a rimmed cookie sheet.
  3. Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/2" cubes. Place on parchment covered cookie sheet.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and toss till squash is well coated.
  5. Sprinkle with a few pinches of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss.
  6. Cut 8 asparagus spears 4" long and 4 more spears into 1" pieces, drizzle with little  olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, set aside.
  7. Place Butternut squash in oven for 40-50 minutes or until edges are brown and crispy, adding asparagus the last 10 minutes of cooking time. 
  8. While squash cooks make and assemble salad, make dressing and cook salmon.
For Salad:
  1. Place greens, tomato and onion in a large bowl or platter and set aside.
For Basil Vinaigrette:
  1. Place garlic in processor and pulse till minced.
  2. Add olive oil, basil leaves, salt and peppers. Process until will blended.
  3. You may need to scrape down the sides several times. Set aside.
For Salmon:
  1. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper
  2. When squash has about 15 minutes left to cook: heat an oven safe panini pan (or other heavy pan) on high heat for 3 minutes
  3. When pan is hot add olive oil, butter or ghee to pan and turn heat to med/high.
  4. Place salmon skin side up on pan (flesh side down)
  5. Cook for five minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Use fish spatula to gently turn salmon skin side down and place pan in oven alongside (or on rack below) squash for 8-10 minutes. This would also be the time to add asparagus to the cookie sheet with butternut squash.
  7. Remove salmon and butternut squash/asparagus from oven. IF you want to remove the skin, slide fish spatula between skin and flesh, lift salmon. Discard skin.
To plate:
  1. Allow squash and salmon to cool for a few minutes. Toss greens, butternut squash and 1" asparagus (set aside the 4" spears for garnish) with dressing reserving a couple of tablespoons.
  2. Plate greens on four plates
  3. Place salmon on top of greens, garnish with two asparagus spears and drizzle with remaining basil vinaigrette.
  4. Serve and thoroughly enjoy!

Need more salmon recipes? Here are a few favorites: Tropical Salmon, Fish Tacos, Scottish Salmon Sandwich, and Pesto Salmon with Parmesan Crisps!



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All photos and recipes are copyrighted by Linda Spiker.

Post tags: Gluten free, grain free