I tell myself salad rights all wrongs. That it's the great dietary equalizer. That no matter how many baby bites I ate, plane food I consumed hopping back-and-forth across the country in 48 hours, or how much BBQ I ate in Alabama, salad will fix it. But it needs to be a serious salad like this Spinach Salad With Spiced-Walnut Salmon And Cilantro-Mint Dressing. A big ol' entree salad with some combo of dark greens, whole grains, healthy fats, and something that'll keep me full for hours (no dainty side salads need apply). The salmon on its own is standout enough to be an entree but I love flaking it up and tossing it together with everything else then topping it with this Cilantro-Mint Walnut dressing that's as close to addictive as I've ever seen a dressing get.
fronds and ends trimmed and discarded
toasted (optional garnish)
For the Salmon: Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Combine 3/4 cup of the walnuts, flax seeds, coriander, and pinch of salt and pepper in a small food processor and pulse until it's a fine meal, about 8 (1 second) pulses.
Pat the salmon dry and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle salmon with oil then press the walnut mixture into the top of each fillet (you may not need all the coating for the salmon). Roast salmon until the center is firm to the touch, it is light pink throughout, and the edges begin to flake, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, make the dressing.
For The Dressing: Combine the herbs, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the water or coconut water, the vinegar, and honey in a small food processor and blend until smooth and well combined. Season, as desired, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Dressing can be made up to 4 days ahead of time and stored refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
For The Salad: Halve the fennel and onion and slice both into paper thin slices. Chop remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts. To serve, divide greens among serving dishes, top with fennel, red onion, chopped walnuts, and coconut, top with salmon and drizzle with a spoonful of the dressing.
You can soak the red onions slices in ice water for about 5 to 10 minutes to mellow out the onion taste.