Salmon, Fennel, and Potato Salad with Sour-Cream Dressing

Feathery fennel fronds give this creamy dressing an added bit of flavor, but if you should find yourself with a frond-less fennel bulb, substitute a tablespoon of chopped fresh dill—or do without the greenery altogether.


Slideshow: More Terrific Salads


  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 pound Yukon Gold or boiling potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into eighths
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 pound skinless salmon fillets
  • 1 fennel bulb, fronds reserved, bulb sliced into matchstick strips
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or scallion tops
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 2 bunches watercress (about 3/4 pound), tough stems removed (about 1 1/2 quarts)

How to make this recipe

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 8 minutes. Stir in the peas and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, about 2 minutes longer. Drain thoroughly.

  2. Meanwhile, fill a large, deep frying pan with 3 inches of salted water. Bring to a simmer. Add the salmon and simmer until the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the salmon to paper towels to drain. Cut or flake the salmon into bite-size pieces.

  3. Chop enough of the fennel fronds to make 1 tablespoon. In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, chives, oil, lemon juice, chopped fennel fronds, salt, and pepper.

  4. In a large bowl, toss the watercress with 1/4 cup of the dressing and put the greens on plates. In the same bowl, gently toss the potatoes and peas, the salmon, and the sliced fennel with the remaining dressing. Top the watercress with the potato-and-salmon mixture.

Suggested Pairing

In the Pacific Northwest, where salmon is king, its queen is Pinot Noir. The oiliness of the fish makes it strong enough to partner a light red, and the complex red-berry and spice notes of the Pinot Noir are an ideal foil for the flavor of the salmon.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo Published July 2013

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