Grilled Salmon with Watercress Salad & Buttermilk Dressing

Grilled Salmon with Watercress Salad & Buttermilk Dressing

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From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2016

With a nod toward German cuisine, rye croutons, mustard and sauerkraut pair beautifully with this healthy salmon recipe. Most large supermarkets sell sauerkraut in the refrigerated section; if you can't find purple sauerkraut, feel free to use green (or make your own!). A rich dill-infused buttermilk dressing brings everything together in this healthy salad recipe.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • Croutons
  • 2 cups cubed rye bread ( ½-inch)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Buttermilk Dressing
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Salmon & Salad
  • 1 pound wild salmon (preferably wild Alaska; see Tips), skin-on, cut into 4 portions
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 8 cups gently packed trimmed watercress (about 2 large bunches)
  • ½ cup fresh sauerkraut, preferably purple (see Tips)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. To prepare croutons: Toss bread and oil in a medium bowl. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat grill to high.
  4. To prepare dressing: Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, dill, mustard, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt and a couple dashes of hot sauce in a small bowl.
  5. To prepare salmon: Season salmon with salt and pepper. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the salmon, skin-side down and without turning, until just cooked through, 3 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer to a clean plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  6. Toss watercress with half of the dressing. Serve the salmon on the salad, garnished with sauerkraut and the croutons. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
  • All wild salmon—and now some farmed—is considered a sustainable choice. For farmed, ask for fish that's raised in land- or tank-based systems. For more information about sustainable seafood, go to
  • Find fresh sauerkraut, made from purple or green cabbage, near refrigerated pickles. Compared to shelf-stable kraut, it contains probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. Plus, it has super-crunchy texture and fresh taste.
  • An oiled grill rack keeps your food from sticking. Once your grill is good and hot, dip a folded paper towel in a little oil, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack.
  • Fish on foil: Fish that flakes easily requires a delicate touch to flip on the grill. If you want to skip turning it over when grilling, measure a piece of foil large enough to hold the fish and coat it with cooking spray. Grill the fish on the foil (without turning) until it flakes easily and reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 3 oz. salmon & 2 cups salad
  • Per serving: 279 calories; 14 g fat(3 g sat); 2 g fiber; 11 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 52 mcg folate; 58 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 1,122 IU vitamin A; 24 mg vitamin C; 126 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 568 mg sodium; 623 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (40% daily value), Vitamin A (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, ½ vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat

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