The Best Sides To Eat with Salmon
Caesar Salad with Garlicky Croutons
A thoroughly modern Caesar starts with Romaine leaves left whole. That means don't chop, and certainly don't buy bagged. Go nuts with the shaved (not grated) Parm, then dress by hand to avoid any wilted, soggy strands. It's "less is more" personified.
Smashed Cucumber Salad
When it comes to English or Persian hothouse cukes, don't even bother with the knife. Instead, reach for a meat tenderizer, rolling pin, or even the back of a saucepan, and smash them into tenderized chunks. Go simple with a drizzle of chili oil and sea salt, or try our toasty Asian dressing with fish sauce and sesame oil.
- Recipe: Smashed Cucumber Salad
Garlic-and-Herb Chickpea Fries with Whipped Feta
Crunchy on the outside, velvety on the inside, and just as addictive as its tuber counterpart; these chickpea fries nonetheless have one clear advantage: they're laden with garlic and fresh herbs. Oh, and if that weren't enough, its preferred dunking mate is a whipped feta dusted with woodsy za'atar. Sorry, ketchup, you've been replaced.
Salmon is indelibly linked to the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest, because of the amount of wild-caught species that come from the area. So, leave it to one of Seattle's most accomplished and prolific chefs, Renee Erickson (The Whale Wins, The Walrus and The Carpenter), to tailor a side dish that perfectly augments her state's most famous export (you know, not named Starbucks). Spicy, citrusy kale is sautéed until tender, then pushed over the top with a dollop of cream.
- Recipe: Creamed Kale
Shaved Apple, Daikon, and Turnip Salad
When pairing a main, it's not just flavor profiles that you need to keep in mind. Consider texture. Counter delicate salmon with plenty of crunch courtesy of shaved apple (such as Honeycrisp), daikon radish, white turnips, and chopped walnuts. Chef Renee Erickson's poppy seed-buttermilk vinaigrette helps tie it all together with just enough fat and tanginess.
Caesar Salad with Bottarga
Briny, bold, and unabashedly fishy, bottarga (salted, cured fish roe) is considered the charcuterie of the sea. Grated over pasta, veggies, or a classic Caesar salad, it lends a flavorful punch that's even more assertive than its sea-kissed equivalent: the anchovy. Bottarga tends to be on the pricier side (several options are available on Amazon), but just remember, a little goes a long way.
- Recipe: Caesar Salad with Bottarga
Wild Mushrooms in XO Sauce
Making Chinese XO sauce is a labor-intensive endeavor involving dried shrimp, scallops, Jinhua ham (similar to prosciutto), and chiles. Luckily, you can find great bottled versions of the condiment at Asian groceries, ideal for tossing on noodles, egg dishes, and our favorite, wild mushrooms such as morels and chanterelles.
- Recipe: Wild Mushrooms in XO Sauce
Like a wedge salad or thick-cut steak fries, a gooey, buttery gratin is a staple of old school chophouses. But this flexible side item (really anything with a crusty top that's broiled in a shallow dish) can be taken in a number of different directions. For instance, forgoing the typical sliced russets or cauliflower in favor of spring asparagus and sizzling shiitakes, both natural partners with salmon.
- Recipe: Asparagus-and-Shiitake Gratin
Southern Waldorf Salad
The Waldorf salad is truly an American classic. Created in New York City in 1983 at the Waldorf Astoria, the mixture of grapes (or apples), celery, walnuts has stood the test of time. But we wanted to create a lighter, summery version for shrimp lovers that swaps the original mayo-based dressing for a tangy Champagne vinaigrette.
- Recipe: Southern Waldorf Salad
Spring Pea Shoot Salad with Beets and Dulse Vinaigrette
Contributing seafood editor, Barton Seaver, isn't just an advocate for, well, seafood. He's a supporter of all things oceanic, including that next great superfood: sea greens. Highly nutritious and sustainable, smoky red dulse works well against the earthy, vegetal combo of beets and pea shoots.
Shaved Spring Veggies with Miso-Honey Dressing
Miso isn't just for soup. Sweet white miso (less salty than the red kind) is a funky flavor bomb that can amp up the complexity on everything from pesto to salad dressings. Whisk together with honey, olive oil, and lemon juice to give new life to a sheet pan of simple roast veggies.
Green Goddess Deviled Eggs
If you can't tell, we're a big fan of deviled eggs at Coastal Living. Whether topped with pickled okra or stuffed with butter, these portable, decadent little nuggets are great for any type of picnic or outdoor feast. Our creamy green goddess version, with all the requisite elements of the Bay Area original (mayo, herbs, anchovy), is particularly suited for fatty, rich salmon.
- Recipe: Green Goddess Deviled Eggs
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Warm Anchovy Vinaigrette
Nothing says summer like a platter of vibrant red, juicy ripe tomatoes. Would an outdoor summer feast be complete without them? Chef Marc Murphy tops off this classic side dish by drizzling with warm anchovy vinaigrette and sprinkling with a dash of loosely packed parsley. The result: a temperate combination of seasonal flavors that is oh so refreshing.
Southern Veggie Poke
And you thought poke was just a vehicle for tuna and salmon. Pssh! Charleston chef Shuai Wang (Short Grain) riffs on the Hawaiian classic by substituting seafood for seasonal produce such as cherry tomatoes, corn, and butter beans. Feel free to swap in whatever looks best at your local farmer's market, including fall and winter versions that utilize cooked squashes and sweet potatoes.
- Recipe: Southern Veggie Poke
Charred Eggplant with Salsa Verde and Burrata
Come summer, cooking means grilling. Not only don't you want to be in a steamy kitchen, but everything in your warm-weather repertoire will benefit from a little smoke—corn, tomatoes-on-the-vine, zucchini, even fruits like pineapple and melon. That's especially true with sweet peppers and Japanese eggplant, which we like to sprinkle with Italian salsa verde—a rustic no-cook sauce made from capers, garlic, anchovy, olive oil, and a wealth of fresh herbs.