I think smoked salmon is a wonderful secret ingredient, it adds not only a unique salmon taste but also an appealing smokiness, and a little goes a long way. This is my favorite way to cook fresh salmon on a weeknight, drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and baked in a hot oven. You could make just the baked salmon part of this recipe and then top it with any number of the quick sauces found in Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals such as Horseradish (page 316), Parsley Pesto (page 320), Quick Herb (page 312), Sautéed Cherry Tomato (page 319), Mediterranean Salsa Verde (page 317), or Sesame Miso (page 323). But if you are a salmon lover, you will be happy to find both fresh and smoked salmon in this salad, combined with peas and dill, two salmon-friendly ingredients.
Total preparation time: 35 minutes plus 15 to 20 minutes cooking time
1 small head Boston or butter lettuce, rinsed and dried
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the eggs in a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 15 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of half ice and half water. Cool completely, then peel under cold running water and cut in half lengthwise.
While the eggs are cooking, cover the potatoes with salted cold water in another saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low and simmer the potatoes until they are just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove them from the water and set aside to cool. Cut them into wedges. If using fresh peas, cook them in boiling water until tender, 2 to 5 minutes depending on their maturity. Drain well. If using frozen peas, thaw them and drain well.
Meanwhile, arrange the salmon in a shallow baking dish; drizzle it with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bake the salmon in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until just cooked through. Set aside to cool, then flake into large chunks.
Whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, mustard, remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste for the dressing. When the ingredients have cooled to room temperature, gently toss the chunked salmon, the peas, and smoked salmon with two-thirds of the dressing. Line 4 plates with the lettuce and top with a mound of the salmon salad. Arrange the eggs and the potatoes around the mound and drizzle with a little of the remaining dressing.