A composed salad presents an appealing mix of contrasting flavors, textures, and colors. The best can also be the simplest, as is the case with this salad showcasing four of our favorite superfoods: salmon, avocado, red grapefruit, and watercress. We chose wild-caught salmon, which typically has a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids than its farmed counterparts. Wild salmon is also a bit leaner, so we roasted it only until just translucent before flaking it into large chunks. Thick slices of buttery avocado added creaminess and more richness. For a bright contrast, we cut up two sweet-tart red grapefruits; the segments mimicked the shape of the avocado while delivering loads of vitamin C. We reserved some of the grapefruit juice to whisk up a simple vinaigrette. Our salad was tasting almost balanced but it needed something more. Vitamin-packed watercress was the answer, balancing the sweetness and richness with its slight bitterness and peppery punch. Finally, we added a sprinkle of crunchy, toasted hazelnuts and torn mint leaves to take our composed salad over the top. If using farmed salmon, cook until center of fillet registers 125 degrees.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 (4- to 6-ounce) skin-on wild-caught salmon fillets, 1 inch thick
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 red grapefruits
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 4 ounces (4 cups) watercress, torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced ¼ inch thick
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn
- ¼ cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.
- Pat salmon dry with paper towels, rub with 1 teaspoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce oven to 275 degrees. Carefully place salmon skin side down on prepared sheet. Roast until center is still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and registers 120 degrees (for medium-rare), 6 to 8 minutes. Let salmon cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Flake salmon into large 2-inch pieces.
- Meanwhile, cut away peel and pith from grapefruits. Holding fruit over bowl, use paring knife to slice between membranes to release segments. Measure out 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice and transfer to separate bowl.
- Whisk shallot, vinegar, mustard, and ½ teaspoon salt into grapefruit juice. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Arrange watercress in even layer on platter. Arrange salmon pieces, grapefruit segments, and avocado on top of watercress. Drizzle dressing over top, then sprinkle with mint and hazelnuts. Serve.