Wild Salmon, New Potato, and Asparagus Salad with Sorrel Dressing

This particular salad was a favorite of mine and was served as a special once upon a time at Nicole’s on the Upper East Side. I worked at Barneys then, directly across the street, and took my lunch breaks there so often that the host would give me a ring to let me know my favorite salad was being served. Nicole’s is unfortunately closed now, however Annie Wayte, the amazing Chef du Cuisine and author, has left us with this delicious salad in her timeless cookbook, Keep it Seasonal.

Don’t be intimidated by the many steps to this wonderful salad. Sometimes, when I get lazy, I boil the potatoes in the court bouillon before the salmon is poached. You can also prepare the night before and just assemble the day or evening you are serving.

Serves 4-6



·  1 carrot, thinly sliced
·  1 rib celery, thinly sliced
·  1 onion, thinly sliced
·  1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced (optional)
·  Small handful of peppercorns, crushed
·  Small handful coriander seeds, crushed
·  Sea salt to taste
·  1 sprig of parsley
·  1 sprig of thyme
·  1 bay leaf
·  Splash dry white wine
·  Juice of 1 lemon
·  4 to 6 cups water


·  1 pound salmon fillet, skin on
·  8 new potatoes
·  12 asparagus spears, trimmed, blanched until tender
·  1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh chervil
·  1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh dill
·  1 teaspoon coarsely sliced fresh chives
·  Grated zest of 1 lemon
·  1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
·  Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
·  2 bunches watercress, washed and trimmed


·  ¼ cup mayonnaise
·  Juice of 1 lemon
·  1 tablespoon coarsely sliced sorrel


Prepare the court bouillon. Place carrot, celery, onion and fennel, in a dutch oven and add the peppercorns, coriander seeds, sea salt, parsley, thyme, bay leaf. Pour in the white wine and lemon juice. Cover with water ( about 4 cups ) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 35 minutes.

Submerge salmon in the court bouillon and barely simmer and cook gently until the center is still slightly underdone, approximately 8 to 12 minutes. To check, use a paring knife to part the flesh.

Transfer salmon to a plate and allow to cool. Discard court bouillon.

Gently boil the new potatoes in salted water until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and cool them slightly, then cut them in half and place them in a bowl. Add the asparagus spears, chervil, dill,
chives, lemon zest, olive oil and sea salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently and marinate at least 30 minutes.

Layer watercress, asparagus and potatoes on 4 serving plates or one large platter. Remove salmon skin and any discolored parts. Using your hands gently break salmon into large flakes and arrange them throughout the salad.

Prepare the dressing. Dilute mayonnaise with enough of the lemon juice to reach a pouring consistency. Stir in the shredded sorrel. Drizzle this dressing over salad and serve

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