How to make crusted salmon with watercress and wasabi

Our kitchen garden cook Melanie Johnson shares a beautiful way to cook salmon that makes the most of the new season's watercress.

‘Young, tender watercress makes a refreshing, yet peppery addition to dishes,’ says Melanie Johnson.

Even a simple pasta dish can be enlivened. ‘Cook 150g-200g of linguini, reserving about 100ml of the starchy water, and toss in a splash of extra-virgin olive oil,’ suggests Melanie. ‘Add to a food processor 200g of drained, canned butter beans, 100g of mascarpone, 80g of watercress, the starchy water and 30g of grated Parmesan, then season well and blitz until you have a coarse paste. Toss the linguini in the sauce and serve with toasted pine nuts, extra Parmesan and a sprig of watercress.’

While that makes an ideal midweek dinner, the following is something with a bit of wow factor.

Recipe: Watercress, wasabi and panko-crusted salmon

Serves 4


  • 500g salmon fillet
  • 150ml mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 40g watercress
  • 2tspn wasabi (optional)
  • 50g panko breadcrumbs
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 25g fresh parsley, chopped
  • 25g Parmesan, grated

Recommended videos for you


Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4.

Pat the salmon dry with kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper.

In a processor, blitz the mayonnaise, garlic, watercress, wasabi and seasoning until smooth. Spoon onto the fish and spread it over in an even layer.

Prepare the panko breadcrumbs by mixing them together with the melted butter, parsley and Parmesan, then scatter them over the salmon. Bake for 22–28 minutes, until the fish is just cooked and the breadcrumbs are golden.

Serve the salmon with steamed greens.