Salmon with Watercress Salad

salmon with watercress salad

A simple fish dinner is a satisfying change of pace by the end of the week, and salmon is my favorite fish to cook. As an amateur cook I find it very forgiving as it is relatively easy to grill, poach or bake.

As a physician I know its nutritional value as a super healthy food. A 3-ounce serving of salmon is about 146 calories, a great protein source with 17 grams, and is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. This polyunsaturated fat is essential to our bodies, helping to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and improving inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

A number of studies have shown omega-3s aid in our cognitive function as well. Many people take fish oil to help supplement their intake. However, given a serving of salmon provides up to 4000 mg of omega-3s, compared to 750 mg in an average supplement, I’ll eat fish any day.

I always find it challenging when patients tell me they don’t eat seafood because it tastes too fishy. I try to explain that depending on the type of seafood you choose, and its freshness, in general it should not taste fishy at all. This is especially true for salmon.

Watercress, found in the salad section of your local supermarket, has a bitter tang that makes a great accompaniment to the milder flavor of salmon. It belongs to the same family as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Watercress is a strong natural antibiotic and contains B1, B2, B6, C, E, manganese, carotene, calcium, fiber, iron and copper.

I added almonds and feta cheese to the watercress for additional protein. The feta’s natural saltiness also balances the sweet and sour vinaigrette and bitterness of the greens very well. I grill year round and that’s my usual method of cooking salmon; however, it can be easily baked as well.


  • 4 3-ounce pieces of salmon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups of fresh watercress
  • ½ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat the grill to medium high.
  2. Brush a thin coat of olive oil over the salmon pieces and grill for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Salmon is a firm fish that should turn easily without flaking, however, a cooking basket can make turning the fish easier.
  3. Let the salmon cool under aluminum foil for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare the salad by removing the large stems from the watercress, keeping only the smaller stems and leaves. Rinse and dry on paper towel.
  5. Toast almonds by baking for 2 to 3 minutes at 350°F, or toss in a sauté pan for a few minutes until they are lightly browned.
  6. Mix together the watercress, almonds, feta, vinegar, olive oil, mustard and honey and salt and pepper.
  7. Serve each piece of fish covered with the watercress salad.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information
Per 3 ounce serving of salmon with 1 cup salad: 428 calories; 29.8g total fat (4.4g saturated; 2.6g polyunsaturated, 6.9g monounsaturated); 358.9mg sodium; 73.6mg cholesterol; 11.4g carbohydrate; 4.2g fiber; 4.3g sugars; 31.2g protein; 697.8mg potassium.

author name

Joseph R. McPhee, MD

Joseph R. McPhee, MD, is a physician specializing in bariatric surgery with Healthy Weight Management & Bariatric Surgery.

Education: A graduate of New York University and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. McPhee completed a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School and his residency at North Shore University Hospital.

Call: 717-544-2935

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


Share This Page: