In the pink: salmon Nicoise

February 15, 2010

I don’t know about you, but whenever I unwrap a salmon fillet these days it seems to have grown to twice the size it looked in the fish shop. So I’ve started cutting them in half after barbecuing – the easiest way to cook salmon, I find – and keeping half in the fridge for lunch.

Ever since I read in this book here that one of the major keys to preventing dementia (both Alzheimer’s & non-A) is to eat oily fish a couple of times a week, our salmon consumption has gone up. I know chefs turn their noses up a bit at salmon – all those early nineties menus full of pan-fried salmon on a lump of mash, I guess – and I’ve heard salmon described as fish for steak eaters (hmm, who could that be…?). And I see their point. I still love it though, and being a bit of a fish-cooking scaredy-cat, I find it durn simple to cook (these days, that is – remind me to tell you one day of the first time I cooked for my Neil-Perry-trained-seafood-restaurant-chef-brother-in law-to-be, chefbro Hamish, using a crap electric stove and oven in my old flat. He was very gracious at the overcooked, soggy pink slab he got – but what was I thinking!??)

Anyhoo, the other day I slung this little salmon nicoise salad together from leftovers and fridge staples. It pretty much only took as long to make as the egg took to hardboil (around eight minutes) – and, I have to say, was very fabulous. I used vino cotto instead of making a dressing, because I can kid myself that it’s got no oil (but I bet the sugariness of it cancels out that benefit…), but any dressing you like would be fine.

This made a big salad for one, but obviously you can mix and match quantities to suit.

Reckon it’s easy enough to stick in lunch for lazy people?

  • 1 piece cooked salmon, broken into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 kalamata olives
  • 5 anchovies, roughly chopped
  • 1 hardboiled egg, quartered
  • 1-2 tomatoes (I used a few I’d roasted; they shrink a lot so used more)
  • lettuce leaves
  • a couple of teaspoons of vino cotto (or balsamic & oil dressing)
  • next time, I’d add some green beans
  • salt & pepper

Method: Chuck it all in.


  1. Nice. That would make a lovely light dinner, too, and I might even do it tonight. I have some tom-toms I roasted that need eating… plus some potential Alzheimer’s in my future that I’d really like to dodge.

  2. I love salmon and that sounds absolutely delicious. Will be trying it very soon! I usually pan fry mine simply in a non-stick pan, when I can’t use the barbecue, it is just as easy to cook that way.

  3. I think that recipe might take me away to heaven.

  4. You know, I was telling someone about this dish – my pitch was this: it’s got salt, it’s got fat, it’s even got SUGAR (sort of!) and it’s still a salad. What’s not to love? Which reminds me of my favourite line from that old show Rosanne (wish they’d bring it back) when Rosanne Barr said “the only bad thing about fat is that it ain’t got no sugar in it”.

  5. It took me an extra 24-hours than anticipated, but I made this salad last night and it was smashing. I did add the beans, plus a perfect avocado and some coriander. It was beaut, thanks!

  6. Yum. And high protein too, perfect for that post gym workout? (that’s very much a question – I really wouldn’t know) I also love the mega hit of salt: 5 anchovies and 5 olives per serve!

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