Spring Salmon Sandwiches with Pea Sprouts + Lemon-Dill Aioli

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This sandwich is inspired by my favourite at Terra Breads – a local bakery and cafe. It features tender, flaky salmon, sweet pea shoots, thin slices of crisp cucumber, and a delicious aioli with dill, lemon zest and juice. Served on super-soft ciabatta bread, it is divine.

I often make it for lunch when I’m having people over – I just make one enormous sandwich in a ciabatta baguette, and cut it into slices. It’s great for a baby/wedding shower, or to bring to a potluck picnic.

I just love buttery, perfectly seared salmon (Psst. if you love this, you must also try my Cajun Honey Butter Salmon recipe). Especially with such fresh, spring-y toppings.

I just realized this post comes hot on the heels of my Blackened Fish Sandwiches with Spicy Corn and Cabbage Slaw – I guess I’m just really into fish on bread right now!

Now I’m going to veer completely off topic and share what I consider to be a public service announcement. Anybody out there get super-frequent headaches? (I’m vigourously waving my hand). For YEARS, I was getting throbbing headaches at least several times a week. I’d pop tylenol or advil and be ok, but I didn’t like taking painkillers so frequently – however the headaches were too disruptive to go untreated.

I tried everything from massage to physiotherapy to new glasses to meditation (in case it was stress) to giving up caffeine to orthodontic treatments to allergy medications… you name it, I tried it.

I finally figured out it was… EYE STRAIN. Not at all related to my glasses prescription, but simply related to reading off of screens (computer, phone iPad). And I totally fixed the problem with this insanely simple 20-20-20 rule. It works like this: every 20 minutes, you look away from the screen and focus your eyes on things 20+ feet away (I just focus on several points outside my window) for 20 seconds. I just keep this app open in a separate window (with “auto break” on) to remind me.

I discovered it in January, gave it a try, and have had literally ONE headache since then. I just want to shout it from the rooftops, because I know there are so many others out there who share my (now eliminated) pain. If you’re a frequent headache sufferer, give it a try!

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Spring Salmon Sandwiches with Pea Sprouts + Lemon-Dill Aioli

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


For aioli:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest fluffy, not packed
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced dill packed
  • pinch of salt

For sandwiches:

  • 1 lb salmon filets skin optional
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • handful of pea sprouts or watercress
  • thinly sliced cucumber
  • 4 ciabatta buns halved crosswise and opened up
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  • In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients for aioli.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Add oil to skillet. Once it starts shimmering, add the salmon (skin-side down if it has skin). When first side releases easily (about 2-3 minutes), flip and continue cooking on other side until barely cooked through, about 1 minute more (it will continue cooking off of the heat). It should be flakey and nearly opaque in the thickest part.
  • Divide aioli between buns, spreading evenly on both cut sides. Divide salmon among buns, and top with a small handful of pea sprouts, and several slices of cucumber.
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