Pan Seared Salmon Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

If you've been following along on social media, you know that our December, like most of yours, was full of travel, holiday parties, and a packed schedule. It was definitely the month in 2017 that we spent the most time away from home, eating on airplanes, indulging in cocktails, and sleeping less than normal. Since January 1st, I have been hyper-focused on my health again, opting to cook at home, get into a relaxing morning routine, and spend more time in the gym. 

When we were in Nashville for a few days last month, we had a beautiful lunch at this place called Merchants on the strip downtown      (I highly recommend). I ordered a salmon salad and a glass of Chardonnay. You know that expression "it wasn't something to write home about". Well, friends. This indeed was not the case. Which is, I suppose, why I am literally writing about it now on the blog (aka my virtual home). It was one of my most memorable meals in quite some time, and by far the best salad I've ever had. Yes, ever

After January 1st, when we got back home and I was craving all the healthy things, I decided to have a go at recreating the meal (sans the wine... for now). This recipe is super easy and is packed full of Omega-3, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, and a ton of other health benefits. The combination of arugula, avocado, and salmon, just to name a few ingredients, is a recipe for a success. If you're trying to kick off the new year on the right foot, this salad just might be your match made in heaven. 

Another bonus to this recipe is that it calls for homemade salad dressing: balsamic vinaigrette. The serving size for the vinaigrette is 1 pint which is perfect for those leftover salad ingredients following the meal. The dressing also works wonderfully for baked chicken, caprese, potatoes, roasted veggies, and really anything you want to add some extra flavor to. The list could truly go on and on. 

Pan Seared Salmon Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing

(makes 2-3 servings) 


Arugula Salad

  • 5 oz Baby Arugula
  • 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Roasted and Salted Sunflower Seeds
  • 1 Avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup Goat Cheese Crumbles

Pan Seared Salmon

  • 12 oz Salmon, skin removed
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

(makes 1 pint; store at room temperature for up to 1 month)

  • 1 1/3 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 4 tsp Onion, peeled and minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
  • 4 Tbsp Dried Parsley
  • 4 tsp Dried Basil
  • 2 tsp Salt


  1. Start by marinating the salmon (if desired). Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Drizzle olive oil and rub minced garlic cloves over both sides. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside in refrigerator while preparing the dressing and salad. 
  2. Next, make the Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. Combine all ingredients in a large mason jar or container. Shake well. Set aside. 
  3. Pour olive oil into non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the marinated salmon. Cook each side for about 6 minutes, or until pink and cooked through. 
  4. While the salmon is cooking, start preparing the arugula salad. Place the baby arugula in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients on top and mix to combine. 
  5. When the salmon is cooked through, remove from pan and place on top of combined salad. Drizzle dressing over top to taste. Mix and enjoy!

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xo Anna Elizabeth