Grilled Salad of Salmon, Baby Gem & Tomatoes with Caesar Dressing


I’d gone about 48 hours without a proper meal. This is almost unheard of. ‘A’ keeps telling me, You’re always eating. This is true. And I was eating in those 48 hours. Some things were very delicious, such as the gorgeous Sweet Potato Pie at Oblix yesterday when I interviewed Jurgen Willems; I’ve eaten lovely sandwiches at Taylor St Baristas Richmond with things like fresh grilled peppers and yummy chicken. But some things were less good. Out with Italian friends on Wednesday to see Zucchero at The Royal Albert Hall (fantastic concert!), after a day on the go all I managed was a rather uninteresting tuna sandwich in the pub before the concert. I was running on bread and cake …so something healthy for supper last night had become as much a need as a desire. I was feeling like my body craved healthy.


I’d saved a Nigel Slater recipe from last Sunday’s Observer Food Monthly: Tomato Caesar Bruschetta. I thought it looked like a great snack. But I was wanting more than a snack last night … and no bread. So I decided to take the basis of the recipe with the baby gem lettuces, tomatoes, anchovies and caesar dressing, make it as a salad and add some healthy organic salmon – a small portion of which was in my freezer.

I’m such a fan of Caesar Salad it’s surprising I don’t make it more often. It’s my very favourite thing at the lovely Joe Allen‘s restaurant in Covent Garden. I liked Nigel’s idea of grilling the lettuce and tomatoes. I wasn’t totally sure about the salmon. I’ve eaten Chicken Caesar before but not fish. However, fish is what I had and some nice healthy salmon was what I was craving, so I decided to give it a go. It was really quick and easy. I’d bought the assorted tomatoes – a fun collection of different colours – that Nigel suggested for the dish, the day before, with the recipe in mind; also I’d bought some organic baby gem lettuces. Tins of anchovies are always found in my cupboard; the fish came out of the freezer a couple of hours before I wanted to eat. And I was set to go. It’s a very last-minute affair.


I cut one baby gem in half, cut a few tomatoes in half, and laid them together on a grill pan. I added 3 anchovy fillets and then drizzled some olive oil over the top and put it all under a hot grill. While they were cooking, I made the caesar dressing. It’s really easy: just put 1 egg yolk, a crushed garlic clove, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard in a container and blitz with a hand blender.


That’s it. All done! Watch the vegetables under the grill carefully so they don’t burn but you want them to get a nice brown on the edges. Once done, lift carefully onto a plate. Then I just popped the prepared – oiled and seasoned – salmon fillet on the same pan and it went under the grill for just 5 minutes or so, till browning on top but nicely soft and slightly underdone in the middle. I lay that on top of the vegetables, drizzled over the caesar dressing – and there was supper, ready in an instant.


And what a supper it was. It was just pefect. The caesar dressing went wonderfully with the salmon so the whole dish worked well. I liked the warm, grilled effect of the lettuce and tomatoes. It all tasted so scrummy and delicious, I can’t wait to do it again.

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A lifelong lover of good food and travel; writer and book editor

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