Simply Nigella

This is a regular lunch or supper at 'casa mia', as anyone who follows me on Twitter or Instagram will recognise. I sometimes poach the salmon and keep it in the fridge (see footnote), just so that I can make it even faster when the need hits. It’s quick work anyway, so this is more of an aside than a piece of advice.

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  • 2 wild Alaskan salmon fillets (approx. 250g total)

  • 2 spring onions, trimmed

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 2½ teaspoons lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes

  • For the salad: 

  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons pumpkin seeds

  • 100g watercress

  • 1 teaspoon organic cloudy apple cider vinegar

  • 1 small ripe avocado

  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, or to taste


  • 1.

    Put the salmon fillets in a small frying pan (I use one with a 20cm 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.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (2 servings)

  • Energy 1130kj
  • Fat Total 81g
  • Saturated Fat 16g
  • Protein 88g
  • Carbohydrate 13g
  • Sugar 1g
  • Sodium 1371mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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

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