Grilled Fennel and Salmon Arugula Salad

Fennel Salmon Salad with asparagus, strawberries and poached egg.

Grilled Fennel and Salmon Arugula Salad

Recipe and photo courtesy of Dennis Sydnor, Renegade Dining and Cafe Federico in Sacramento
Course Main Course, Salad
Servings 4


  • 8 cups water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ pound bacon
  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 pound wild-caught salmon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 eggs

For the herb mustard vinaigrette:

  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fresh dill, minced
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Preheat grill to 450 degrees F. Add water and lemon juice to medium-size sauce pot over medium heat. Heat to 180 to 190 degrees F. For salad dressing, combine all ingredients in a lidded jar, secure lid, then shake vigorously. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. If dressing separates, shake again just before dressing salad. Store in the refrigerator.
  • For the bacon, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lay bacon on parchment-lined baking sheet and place in oven. Cook for 15 minutes or until crispy. Allow to cool, then crumble. Adjust oven temperature to lowest setting for warming. Rinse all produce and pat dry. Snap off and dispose of hard, stringy bottoms of asparagus. Cut off about 1 inch of tips. Using potato peeler, shave down exterior of asparagus, then cut the centers into 1-inch pieces.
  • In bowl, mix asparagus shavings, centers, and tops with arugula. Cut strawberries into quarters and set aside. Keep chilled. Cut fennel bulbs in half lengthwise, remove any hard or badly blemished portions. Pat dry salmon, then cut into 4 portions. Drizzle fennel and salmon with olive oil, then season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Grill salmon for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 137 degrees F. Tip: Cook salmon about 8 minutes for every 1 inch of thickness. Place salmon in oven using oven-safe dish or tent with foil to keep warm. Grill fennel for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until tender. Remove from grill, cut halves into quarters. Set aside and keep warm with salmon. Note: Some charring on the fennel and salmon is ideal to add flavor.
  • Toss arugula and asparagus with preferred amount of dressing. Plate onto serving platter or 4 individual serving dishes. Evenly top with strawberries, bacon, grilled fennel, and salmon.
  • For poached egg, crack eggs into individual bowls. Using a slotted spoon, gently swirl the simmering water-lemon juice on stove. Immediately lower the eggs, 1 at a time, into the water. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes for a soft yolk, longer for preferred doneness. Remove each egg with slotted spoon and place on top of plated ingredients. Season with salt and freshly ground cracked pepper. Serve salad immediately.