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Salmon, Avocado, Watercress and Pumpkin Seed Salad

by . Featured in SIMPLY NIGELLA
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Introduction

This is a regular lunch or supper at casa mia, as anyone who follows me on Twitter or Instagram will recognise.

I like to use wild Alaskan salmon, which accounts for the vivid hue here. It doesn’t have an exceedingly strong taste – I always feel it’s as if the salmon is frozen while still alive, the waters must be so cold – but nor does it have that spooky flabbiness of farmed salmon. And it isn’t anywhere near as expensive as wild Scottish salmon, desirable and wholly delicious as that is.

This is a regular lunch or supper at casa mia, as anyone who follows me on Twitter or Instagram will recognise.

I like to use wild Alaskan salmon, which accounts for the vivid hue here. It doesn’t have an exceedingly strong taste – I always feel it’s as if the salmon is frozen while still alive, the waters must be so cold – but nor does it have that spooky flabbiness of farmed salmon. And it isn’t anywhere near as expensive as wild Scottish salmon, desirable and wholly delicious as that is.

Salmon, Avocado, Watercress and Pumpkin Seed Salad
Photo by Keiko Oikawa

Ingredients

Serves: 2, generously

Metric Cups

For the Salmon

  • 2 wild alaskan salmon fillets (approx. 250g / 8oz total)
  • 2 spring onions (trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2½ teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes

For the Salad

  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 100 grams watercress
  • 1 teaspoon organic cloudy apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or to taste

For the Salmon

  • 2 wild alaskan salmon fillets (approx. 250g / 8oz total)
  • 2 scallions (trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2½ teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

For the Salad

  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 4 ounces watercress
  • 1 teaspoon organic cloudy apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste

Method

  1. Put the salmon fillets in a small frying pan (I use one with a 20cm / 8in diameter) and cover with cold water from the tap. Add the whole spring onions and peppercorns, squeeze in the lime juice and sprinkle in the salt, then bring to the boil, uncovered. When the pan is bubbling, turn the fillets over, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 7 minutes. Then take the fillets out of the liquid and leave to cool completely, which could take up to 1 hour. Once cool, the salmon will be cooked through, with its flesh desirably tender and coral inside.
  2. While the salmon’s cooling, make a start on the salad. Toast the pumpkin seeds by tossing them in a dry, heavy-based frying pan on the hob. They will start jumping a little, and will darken and get a smokier taste. It doesn’t take long to toast them, so don’t leave the pan and, indeed, keep giving it a quick swirl. Then transfer to a cold plate.
  3. When you’re ready to unite salmon with salad, put the watercress into a large shallow bowl (or split between 2 bowls), sprinkle with the vinegar, and toss. Now add the salmon, removing the skin and tearing the fish into bite-sized pieces or shreddy bits, as you wish.
  4. Halve the avocado and remove the stone, then spoon the flesh out onto the salmon and watercress, or cut it into slices if you prefer. Drizzle the oil over the salad, sprinkle with the salt and half of the toasted pumpkin seeds, and toss gently to mix. Scatter the remaining pumpkin seeds on top, and eat.
  1. Put the salmon fillets in a small frying pan (I use one with a 20cm / 8in diameter) and cover with cold water from the tap. Add the whole scallions and peppercorns, squeeze in the lime juice and sprinkle in the salt, then bring to the boil, uncovered. When the pan is bubbling, turn the fillets over, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 7 minutes. Then take the fillets out of the liquid and leave to cool completely, which could take up to 1 hour. Once cool, the salmon will be cooked through, with its flesh desirably tender and coral inside.
  2. While the salmon’s cooling, make a start on the salad. Toast the pumpkin seeds by tossing them in a dry, heavy-based frying pan on the hob. They will start jumping a little, and will darken and get a smokier taste. It doesn’t take long to toast them, so don’t leave the pan and, indeed, keep giving it a quick swirl. Then transfer to a cold plate.
  3. When you’re ready to unite salmon with salad, put the watercress into a large shallow bowl (or split between 2 bowls), sprinkle with the vinegar, and toss. Now add the salmon, removing the skin and tearing the fish into bite-sized pieces or shreddy bits, as you wish.
  4. Halve the avocado and remove the stone, then spoon the flesh out onto the salmon and watercress, or cut it into slices if you prefer. Drizzle the oil over the salad, sprinkle with the salt and half of the toasted pumpkin seeds, and toss gently to mix. Scatter the remaining pumpkin seeds on top, and eat.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The salmon can be cooked up to 3 days ahead. Cool for up to 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate until needed.

MAKE AHEAD NOTE: The salmon can be cooked up to 3 days ahead. Cool for up to 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate until needed.

Tell us what you think

What 3 Others have said

  • Absolutely delicious! I cook it a bit longer, 10 min (I'm pregnant, so need to make sure fish is cooked through) and don't leave any time to cool, simply couldn't wait. The fish is still super juicy and works so well with other ingredients.

    Posted by yuuum on 30th June 2016
  • So, so tasty and my 17 year old ate it with relish - a definite hit!

    Posted by Dawn&Dan on 29th October 2015
  • Simple, fresh, delicious and healthy! There's is not much more you can ask for. Watercress is not always readily available where I live and I've found rocket (arugula) to be a great substitute. I can already tell that this salad will become part of my regular repertoire.

    Posted by MissV'sKitchen on 16th October 2015
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