Hederman's smoked Irish salmon and fennel salad with sea buckthorn and nasturium capers

Claire McQuillan

Serves 2 | Irish | Lunch or first course
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cooking Time: 10 mins | Total Time: 25 mins

Sea buckthorn is an incredible sour and exotic fruit flavoured berry that grows almost exclusively in sand dunes along the coast of Ireland. If you can get some (and I definitely encourage you to forage for it!) it really makes this a special dish but if not then a mix of half orange and half lemon juice will give an idea of its flavour and also taste delicious. The greens here can be changed around with the season. Right now in September fennel and sorrel is thriving but feel free to use other shredded root vegetables or other crunchy greens as a base and play around with the additions.

100g of Hederman’s Smoked Salmon

1 fennel bulb

2 little gem lettuces

2 handfuls of common or French sorrel

1 egg 150ml vegetable oil

50ml sea buckthorn juice (see instructions on how to prepare this)

Nasturtium capers

1 tsp mustard

1 tsp caster sugar Salt and pepper

Wild flowers for garnish


Pick and wash enough green nasturtium seeds to fill a sterilised medium jam jar.

Bring to a boil 200ml of white wine vinegar with 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of peppercorns and 1 tsp of sugar.

Pour over the nasturtium seeds and seal.

Refrigerate for at least a month before using.

Prepare the sea buckthorn berries by washing and freezing overnight.

Defrost, mash with a fork and pass through a fine sieve and retain the juice.

Whisk the egg yolk with the mustard, 1 tablespoon of the sea buckthorn juice and a pinch of salt and pepper until slightly light and creamy and then begin to add the vegetable oil one drop at a time while whisking.

After a few minutes the dressing should become thick and creamy.

Don’t be tempted to rush the oil process or you risk splitting the mix. If this sounds too scary then just substitute this step with some good quality mayonnaise.

Add 2 more tablespoons of juice and the sugar.

Taste and add more juice and seasoning to your own liking.

This dressing will last a couple of days in a jar in the fridge.


Save the pretty fronds from the fennel and cut the bulb really finely using a mandolin into long crunchy slices.

Mix with torn little gem leaves and sorrel on a large platter and drizzle over the dressing.

Slice the salmon as thin as you can and drape it over the vegetables.

Sprinkle over the capers, fennel fronds, edible flowers and some extra black pepper.

Serve with some slices of fresh bread and more of the dressing.

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