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Poached Salmon with Green Mayonnaise

by Berkeley Wellness  

The classic accompaniment to a poached salmon is what the French call a mayonnaise verte, or green mayonnaise. An authentic green mayonnaise would be made with raw egg yolks and lots of olive oil. This is fraught with health risks, so our “mayonnaise” is made with fat-free yogurt and a bit of prepared mayonnaise. Fresh spinach adds the body that would ordinarily have been provided by the emulsion of oil and egg yolks. If you can’t get all of the fresh herbs called for, you can use just one or two; but if you choose dill or chives, don’t use more than ¼ cup total, or the sauce will be too strongly flavored.

Timing alert: The salmon needs to chill for about 1 hour before serving.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ pounds salmon fillet, in 1 piece, skinless
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • ⅔ cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced dill


1. In a large skillet, bring the water, carrot, coriander seeds, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon of the salt to a boil over medium heat.

2. Add the salmon and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cover and cook until the fish just flakes when tested with a fork, about 10 minutes.

3. With a slotted spatula, transfer the salmon to a plate and set aside to cool. Strain the poaching liquid and reserve 2 tablespoons. Cover the salmon and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Discard the remaining poaching liquid and the solids.

4. In a medium pan of boiling water, cook the spinach 10 seconds to blanch. Squeeze dry and transfer to a food processor. Add the reserved poaching liquid, the yogurt, mayonnaise, and lemon juice, and process to a smooth puree. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, the tarragon, chives, and dill. Refrigerate until serving time.

5. At serving time, cut the fillet into 4 portions. Serve the salmon with the sauce spooned on top.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 290 calories, 14g total fat (2g saturated), 90mg cholesterol, 1g dietary fiber, 7g carbohydrate, 33g protein, 580mg sodium.

A good source of: beta carotene, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin B12, vitamin D.