Salmon Salad with Creamy Dairy-Free Pesto Dressing

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Pesto is a summer staple, as everyone’s basil plants begin to flourish. This salad makes a perfect dinner on a summer night.

This salad feels light and summery with the grilled asparagus, crisp lettuce, and herby dressing, but it is also nice and filling so you won’t be searching for a snack an hour later. It is topped with wild-caught salmon for protein and it’s a wonderful source of omega-3.

This creamy pesto dressing starts with a paleo avocado oil mayonnaise base (you can find our recipe here). It contains no dairy, unlike most pesto recipes which use a lot of parmesan cheese, making it perfect for the pesto-lovers who don’t eat dairy.

½ cup of avocado oil mayonnaise
¼ cup of fresh basil leaves
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

1 head of lettuce, chopped
6 spears of asparagus, ends trimmed
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Pinch of sea salt or pink himalayan salt
¼ of a red onion, sliced thinly
227g of cooked or canned wild-caught salmon
Creamy pesto dressing from above


  1. Heat your grill to medium heat. In a bowl, toss your asparagus with the olive oil and salt.
  2. Place the asparagus on the grill. Cook asparagus for about 3 minutes on each side. Let them cool a bit, and cut into smaller pieces if you want to.
  3. Place the lettuce in a large bowl, and add the asparagus, red onion, and salmon. Drizzle on the pesto dressing just before serving.

Contributed by Melanie Maxwell, R.H.N.