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- Dish type
- Green salad
- Watercress salad
This fresh salmon pâté is simple and quick to make. Served with a refreshing watercress salad and crisp Melba toasts or thinly sliced rye bread, it is an excellent starter before a vegetable or grain-based dish.
36 people made this
- 250 g (8½ oz) piece of salmon fillet
- 1 bay leaf
- 2–3 onion slices
- 5 black peppercorns
- 200 g (7 oz) smoked salmon slices
- 200 g (7 oz) fromage frais
- 3 tbsp crème fraîche
- finely grated zest of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp horseradish sauce
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh watercress
- salt and pepper
- Watercress salad
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp clear honey
- 100 g (3½ oz) watercress leaves
MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1min ›Ready in:31min
- Place the salmon fillet in a shallow pan with the bay leaf, onion slices and peppercorns. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and allow the salmon to cool in the liquid for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, use the smoked salmon slices to line 4 lightly oiled ramekin dishes, allowing the excess salmon to hang over the sides.
- Drain the salmon fillet and flake the flesh, discarding the skin and any bones. Put the fish in a food processor or blender with the fromage frais, crème fraîche, lemon zest and juice, horseradish and salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Alternatively, for a coarse-textured pâté, use a fork to mix and mash the flaked fish with the other ingredients.
- Spoon half of the salmon pâté into the smoked salmon-lined dishes. Mix the chopped watercress into the remaining pâté, then divide among the ramekins. Fold back the overhanging smoked salmon and press down lightly to flatten the tops. Chill for 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, mix together the orange juice, oil, mustard and honey in a bowl. Add the watercress and toss. Spoon the salad onto 4 plates, then turn out a salmon pot onto each one.
Some more ideas
Make the pâté with canned salmon, which will be higher in calcium due to the bones it contains. Drain a can of red salmon, about 212 g, and remove any skin. Mash the fish with 200 g (7 oz) reduced-fat soft cheese with chives, 3 tbsp mayonnaise and ½ tsp Tabasco sauce. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Spoon half of the pâté into the smoked salmon-lined ramekin dishes, top each with 1 tbsp chopped watercress and spoon over the remaining pâté. Make the salad with mixed rocket and spinach leaves. * Omit the smoked salmon slices. Double the quantity of watercress and mix into all of the pâté at the end of step 3, then serve as a delicious dip with a selection of vegetable strips and bread sticks or warm pitta bread fingers.
Salmon contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which can help to prevent arteries clogging up and therefore play a part in protecting against strokes and heart attacks. * Watercress provides good amounts of several antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene. Like all dark green vegetables, watercress also contains substantial amounts of folate.
Each serving provides
B1, B6, B12, niacin * A, C, E, selenium * B2, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)
Reviews in English (2)
-29 Dec 2012
this went down really well at a recent dinner party, everyone loved it!!-11 Aug 2010
- 4 6 ounces fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
- ⅓ cup finely ground hazelnuts
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup hazelnut oil
- 2 ½ cups watercress
- 1 cup yellow or red tiny pear-shape or grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 ounces Brie cheese, cubed
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish pat dry with paper towels. Brush one side of fillets evenly with the 1 tablespoon hazelnut oil. In a 9-inch pie plate stir together ground hazelnuts, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Dip the brushed side of the salmon in the nut mixture coat well.
For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan. Test for medium heat above the pan. Place fish, coated sides up, on the greased grill rack over pan. Cover and grill for 14 to 18 minutes or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Place fish, coated sides up, on greased grill rack over the burner that is turned off. Grill as directed.)
Meanwhile, for dressing, in a small bowl combine vinegar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt whisk in the 1/4 cup hazelnut oil. Reserve 1/4 cup of the dressing set aside. In a large bowl toss watercress, tomatoes, cheese, and chives with the remaining dressing. Divide evenly among serving plates. Add a salmon fillet to each plate. Drizzle salmon with reserved dressing.
Wild Alaska Salmon and Watercress Roll
1 3.3 lb. pouch or 64 oz. can* red or pink Alaska Salmon,
4 bunches watercress, ends trimmed finely chopped in
16 eggs, large, separated
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
8 oz. Neufchâtel or lowfat cream cheese, softened
1 lb. sour cream
2 cups cucumbers, medium, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups tomatoes, medium, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. salt
*For canned, remove skin and bones
- In large bowl, gently break salmon into large chunks. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 2 half sheet pans with pan release spray and line with parchment paper. Coat paper with spray.
- In large mixing bowl, combine watercress, egg yolks and salt and pepper. In a separate bowl or tabletop mixer, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into watercress mixture using rubber scraper. Divide batter evenly between 2 half sheet pans, spreading into corners. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set and light golden brown.
- Remove pans from oven, place on wire racks and let cool briefly. On clean level surface, flip pans over onto second sheets of parchment paper. Carefully peel away lining paper on top and let cool.
- In mixer bowl with paddle, beat together Neufchâtel cheese and sour cream until smooth. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Divide cheese mixture and spread evenly on top of each baked layer.
- Divide cucumber, tomato, salmon chunks and parsley or cilantro evenly and scatter over cheese spread. Using parchment paper as a guide, gently roll up from the short end discard paper. Carefully transfer roll to serving platter. Cover and hold cold for service.
- To serve, slice each roll into 12 portions about 1" in width. Serve as appetizer course.
Use 2 (10 oz.) bags of spinach leaves instead of watercress.
ALASKA SALMON WITH ORANGE AND WATERCRESS
4 Alaska salmon fillets (4 to 6 oz. each)
1/4 cup avocado oil, divided
2 bunches (about 3 cups) watercress, roughly chopped or 3 cups microgreens
3 Tablespoons cucumber, finely chopped
2 oranges, peeled and segmented (membrane removed)
1-2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups mixed greens
Half of an avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup walnuts
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Pimenton (smoked paprika), for finishing
4 to 6 edible flowers, such as nasturtiums
Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska salmon under cold water pat dry with paper towel. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and brush both sides of fish using 3 tablespoons of avocado oil. Cook salmon, uncovered, about 4 minutes, until browned.
Turn salmon over and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 6 to 8 minutes for frozen or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed, just until fish is opaque throughout.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine watercress, cucumber and orange segments. Season with a few drops of white wine vinegar, remaining avocado oil, and salt and pepper, to taste.
Plate mixed greens next to salmon and top with avocado, walnuts and apple cider vinaigrette. Add nasturtiums and serve.
Nutrients Per Serving
763 calories, 40g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 359 calories from fat, 202mg cholesterol, 91g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 328mg sodium, 120mg calcium and 4500mg omega-3 fatty acids
Watercress Salmon Tea Sandwiches
What these sandwiches lack in size they make up for in taste. You see, the watercress adds a peppery zip to each bite. Better make a lot, 'cause they sure do go fast!
What You'll Need
- 8 slices pumpernickel bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 bunch watercress, washed and stems removed
- 1 can (7 ounces) skinless, boneless salmon, drained and flaked
- 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
What to Do
- Trim the crusts from the bread and cut each slice in half.
- Spread the butter over each of the sixteen pieces.
- Distribute the watercress leaves evenly over the buttered bread.
- In a small bowl, combine the salmon and vinegar mix well. Spoon equally over the watercress leaves and serve, or cover (see Note) and keep chilled until ready to serve.
To keep these sandwiches fresh when chilled, place on a tray, cover the top with a damp paper towel, and wrap with plastic wrap.
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- 1 large ripe avocado, halved, seeded, and peeled
- 1 tablespoon capers, drained
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice or lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (lox-style)
- 1 cup watercress
- ½ cup quartered thinly sliced red onion
- Cracked pepper or sesame water crackers, or broken lavosh
For avocado spread, in a small bowl mash avocado. Stir in capers, lemon juice, and garlic. Cover surface of spread with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.
To tote, place salmon, watercress, and onion in separate containers. Pack along with avocado spread in an insulated cooler with ice packs.
To serve, let each person layer avocado spread, salmon, watercress, and onion slices on crackers. Makes 12 servings.
What can I use to replace watercress?
The best alternatives to watercress are arugula, nasturtium, endive, or upland cress. They all have a peppery flavor and a soft leafy texture, ideal for any recipe that calls for watercress. Spinach is a good choice if you are looking for a milder tasting leafy green.
Arugula, also known as rocket, is your best option for replacing watercress in a dish. It has a mild peppery profile and is readily available in most grocery stores. If you’re growing arugula at home, then keep in mind that the young leaves have a less intense bite than the mature ones which develop a pungent pepperiness. Arugula leaves that are sold in stores are relatively mild.
Pizza, soup, and pasta all benefit from the addition of arugula. Its leaves are not as crunchy, but they are hardier than watercress it will tolerate cooking methods such as braising and stir-frying. Watercress tends to turn mushy if it is cooked too long.
2. Nasturtium leaves
Nasturtium, also known as Indian cress or monk’s cress, offers a similar pungent, pepper-like flavor to watercress. Botanists discovered the similarities and decided that the botanical name for watercress should be Nasturtium officinale. This naming reinforces the similarity of the two plants. You can use the leaves in any recipe that calls for watercress and the brightly colored flowers can be used as a garnish for visual appeal.
The biggest challenge of using nasturtium leaves is finding them in-store. It is a seasonal ingredient and most supermarkets won’t stock it. Your best option is to try specialty food stores or search online. Another option is to grow this plant at home – it is easy to grow and doesn’t use up a lot of space in the garden.
Tip: Check out our guide to edible flowers to learn how to plate up amazing looking food for that special occasion.
Endives are a part of the chicory plant family and are known for their crisp and pungent bitter profile. They are excellent added to salads for those that like lots of flavor in their food. Once cooked, the punchy flavor softens and it becomes mildly sweet and slightly tart. This is a great option for grilling, roasting, or braising. It withstands the heat much better than watercress. Another similar vegetable to endive which you might want to consider is the less bitter escarole.
4. Upland cress
Upland cress is also known as land cress, American cress, or early yellow rocket. Rather than being a semi-aquatic plant, like watercress, it is grown in dry soil. The leaves have a similar flavor to watercress although they have a stronger peppery bite, similar to arugula. We recommend using this type of cress if you need an ingredient that will hold up well in food, without wilting and turning soft. It will make a better, crisper addition to sandwiches and will retain its texture in cooked dishes.
5. Radish sprouts
Radish sprouts belong to the same family as watercress and have a similar peppery punch. They also have similarly shaped leaves so they can easily fit into salads, sandwiches, or any other recipe you choose.
You may find radish sprouts difficult to find at your local store but they’re easy to grow at home even if you don’t have a lot of space. Grow them in pots for a nutrient-rich ingredient.
Spinach is included on this list for those that want a completely different option. Not everyone enjoys the peppery taste of watercress and that’s where spinach steps in. The raw green leaves have a slightly sweet, mild flavor with a pleasant crunch that is perfect for salads. Once cooked, its texture becomes much softer – the leaves only require a brief cook time.
For those that want their spinach to taste more like watercress then we recommend adding a liberal sprinkling of black pepper.
Purslane can be eaten cooked or raw and is a leafy vegetable that has a slightly salty, sour undertone. Some people find this vegetable a little acrid, similar to arugula. The texture of purslane is crispy and juicy with a water content of 93%.
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8. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens are highly nutritious, well known for their high levels of iron, calcium, vitamins, and minerals. They have a bitter and peppery taste although not as pronounced as watercress.
Select the young leaves if you get the choice because these are the mildest. The mature leaves become very bitter and would be unpleasant eaten raw.
In cooking, dandelion greens are a robust ingredient that can withstand heat well, without turning mushy or breaking up.
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Kale is a member of the Brassicaceae family and it is fairly easy to find in most grocery stores. If you’re struggling to find some of the other options on this list then you could use kale in a pinch. It has a stronger bitter flavor with leaves that are tougher in texture.
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Begin by poaching the eggs: fill a frying pan with water to a depth of approximately 1½ inches (4 cm), then heat it up to a temperature just sufficient to keep the water at a bare simmer.
Then break the eggs, two at a time, into the simmering water and let them cook for 3 minutes or so. As soon as they're cooked to your liking, use a draining spoon to lift them from the water and transfer them to a bowl of cold water. Then cook the remaining eggs, and leave them in the cold water while you prepare the sauce. You can also watch how to poach eggs in our Cookery School Video on this page.
Separate off the watercress leaves and discard the stalks. Now break the 2 eggs into the goblet of a food processor or blender, add the salt, garlic, mustard powder and a few twists of freshly milled black pepper, then switch on to blend these together. Now pour the oil in a thin trickle through the hole in the top with the machine still switched on. When all the oil is in, add the vinegar, lemon juice and watercress leaves, then blend again until the sauce takes on a lovely speckled green colour.
To serve, arrange thinly sliced salad leaves round the edges of your serving plates to form a border, then arrange 1 or 2 eggs in the centre and spoon the sauce over and around them. Serve with crusty wholemeal bread.