What's for dinner: Stefano Faita's poached salmon pasta salad

Growing up, we didn't eat a lot of salads.  My mother just didn't really like salads much, so we didn't eat them, but now I appreciate them for their nutrition, crunch and colorfulness.  Besides regular leafy salads, which I now love, I've also grown to enjoy a good pasta salad.  Previous to my 20s, my experiences with pasta salad were minimal and limited to gross, dubiously edible versions from cafeterias and grocery store delis.  For whatever reason, I've associated pasta salad with good odds for food poisoning for most of my life until I noticed that my friends would often enjoy, even crave them.  So, like most of adult culinary life discoveries, I decided to make a change.  I decided to try pasta salad again. And it was great.

It's also surprisingly easy to make.  I discovered this recipe after watching Canadian chef Stefano Faita's cooking show.  If you haven't seen it, you've got to watch it as Faita is like an adorable French Vin Diesel.  His recipes are also always mouth-watering and simple to boot!  I had to try his poached salmon pasta salad.  Of course, it was delicious!

This recipe serves 4-6 people and took about 45 minutes to make.

For the salmon, you'll need:

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10-12 peppercorns (I didn't have any so I just used a ton of regular pepper)
  • 2 large salmon fillets
For the sauce you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup mayo (I used japanese mayo for a sweeter twist)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp dijon (I used 2!)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
Some extras you'll need:
  • 1lb short pasta (I used penne and prob less than 1lb)
  • 3 cups green beans (I used 1.75 cups of peas instead)
  • 2 tbsp capers (I used 3 just for extra saltiness)
  • 2-3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • zest of 1/2 lemon to garnish (optional, you could use lemon juice instead if you'd like)
Poached Salmon
Add wine, water, lemon slices, bay leaves and peppercorns to saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Bring to a bare simmer. Add fish and let poach until just cooked through, about 9 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Remove fish from poaching liquid. Let cool. Pat dry.
Add mayonnaise, yogurt, Dijon mustard, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt. Cook pasta until al dente, adding green beans to pasta water half way during the cooking time. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
In a large bowl, add pasta, green beans, capers, green onions and dill. Toss salad with dressing. Break up pieces of salmon into large pieces and gently toss into salad. Garnish salad with lemon zest and small dill sprigs. Serve.


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  1. does it taste like carbonara? interesting recipe, need to try some.
    i like the shoot of that salad

    1. Hmm I don't think so as for one thing it's cold, and it has more of distinct dijon-salty taste with the mustard and the capers. And thx for the compliment, I shot that photo myself :)

  2. This salad sounds really lovely and refreshing. Salmon is really good paired with dill. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
    I didn't grow up eating much salad either and my mom actually likes them.

    Rowena @ rolala loves
    Enter my Shabby Apple Necklace Giveaway!

  3. This sounds delicious!!

    Kate xo petite-adventures.blogspot.ca

  4. The recipe sounds appetizing, and your photo of this salad makes my mouth water! This would be great to bring to a potluck, non?


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