Everyday Cooking

A Stepped-Up Salmon Salad

May  9, 2013

Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration. 

My kids like tuna salad so I thought it was time to step things up and make salmon salad. I poached the salmon in salted water (but could have just as easily roasted it -- it's up to you) and mixed it with nearly equal parts sliced celery and wedged radishes (salmon is expensive!), capers, dill, mayonnaise, and Dijon mustard. To go with everything, I packed a few slices of rye. My kids love medjool dates, so they went in, too, with some clementines to cut the sweetness of the dates, and some leftover chocolate Easter bunny for fun.

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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


Imen M. October 16, 2013
Love all of these lunch ideas! Our son is a massive fan of smoked salmon, but I have never thought to include in his school lunch for some reason! Thanks for the inspiration.
Yessica August 28, 2013
This looks fantastic! I think I am going to try this for lunch all the way around in our home. My hubby just recently started eating salmon and our 5 year old pretty much eats (or at least tries) everything we suggest she try. Your kid's lunches are sure inspirational and delicious looking. You are a blessing!!
Amanda H. August 28, 2013
Thank you -- glad you find them helpful!
Droplet May 9, 2013
Chocolate figurine are so difficult to split evenly. No matter how hard we tried, me and my brother always thought the other one got a few grams more :)
Sara S. May 9, 2013
Hi Amanda, did you just use salt and water to poach the salmon? Also, how do you feel about canned salmon? It's been years since I had it but I know there are some sustainable brands that focus on wild caught salmon - I'm just not sure about the taste.
Amanda H. May 9, 2013
Yes, I used just well-salted water for poaching. Re canned salmon, if you find a brand you like, I think that would work just fine!
ChefJune May 9, 2013
I hope your kids appreciate the thought you put into making them such delicious and varied lunches, Amanda. They always look so appetizing.
Amanda H. May 9, 2013
Thanks, ChefJune!