Salmon with Celery, Pine Nut & Green Olive Salsa

I eat salmon about once a week; I love its flavour but also know it’s good for me, being rich in Omega-3s. Sadly a lot of farmed salmon lacks the health benefits and is pretty tasteless. So I always buy organic (which of course must be farmed but I’m counting on it being healthier) or, when in season (roughly April-Sept/Oct), I like to treat myself occasionally to some wild salmon from my local fishmonger. Wild salmon is expensive but if you’re a salmon fan, then it really is superb and very special.

I took a fillet of organic salmon from my freezer for supper today. Usually, to be honest, I don’t do anything very imaginative with it midweek but after the success of the gorgeous bulgur wheat recipe from Ottolenghi’s Simple book a few days ago, I thought it worth taking a look to see if there were any salmon recipes. And in the index I found just one recipe – and it did sound very good. Apparently it featured in one of the Bridget Jones films, but I wasn’t really interested in its glamorous film outing, only that it did indeed sound pretty simple and not too much of a challenge at the end of a busy day.

It’s simple in the sense that there’s nothing difficult about it, but there’s quite a bit of chopping to do and I think it’s essential to do that and have everything ready before you start the actual cooking. It can all be done pretty quickly though. I didn’t actually time myself but it couldn’t have taken more than half an hour from start to eating.

Ottolenghi’s recipe is for 4; he talks of halving it for 2; I roughly quartered it for just me! He also names it after Bridget … but I gave that a miss.


Salmon with Celery, Pine Nuts & Green Olive Salsa – Serves One

  • 25g currants, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 celery stick, cut into small dices
  • 10g pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • 10g capers, plus 1 teaspoon of their brine
  • 10g large green olives, cut into small dices
  • 1 pinch saffron mixed with a little hot water
  • 5g parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon



Soak the currants in the hot water. Drizzle a little olive oil over the salmon fillet and rub gently with your fingers to cover. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt and grind over some pepper. Set aside while you make the salsa.

Add the celery and pine nuts to a frying pan with about 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes, watching and turning constantly so it doesn’t burn, until the nuts are turning a nice golden brown. Remove from the heat to a bowl.

Stir in the capers and their brine, olives, saffron and its water, the drained currants and parsley.



Finely grate in some lemon zest and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Mix all together. Taste. Ottolenghi adds some salt but if your capers and olives are quite salty, I don’t think you’ll need it; I didn’t. But check.


Set the salsa aside and cook the salmon. Heat about ½ tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-hot heat. Lay the salmon skin-side down in the hot oil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp. Turn over and cook for about 2-4 minutes or until the salmon is cooked as you prefer it – I like mine still slightly pink-rare in the middle. Timing will also depend on your salmon cut. Mine was a thick slice but a fillet from the tail end would be quite thin and need less cooking time.


When the salmon is ready, lay on a serving plate. Spoon the salsa over the top. (Despite making a quarter of the given ingredients there was still quite a lot; enough really for two and I have some left over despite a generous serving.)

I served the salmon with some lovely little new potatoes tossed in butter and a green salad. Oh … and a glass of chilled white wine! Well, it may be midweek but it did seem quite a special meal.

It was really gorgeous. I loved the salsa. It was quite a crunchy salsa but fabulous, fresh flavours that went perfectly with the fish. It was definitely worth just a little more effort than my usual midweek salmon supper and I’m sure I’ll be doing it again.

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

7 thoughts on “Salmon with Celery, Pine Nut & Green Olive Salsa

  1. The salsa is different from most and sounds like it would really be good served not only with your fish but other proteins as well. Thanks for sharing it with us Kay, I’m going to pin this to try.

  2. Lovely. I eat salmon at least once a week as well. It’s so good. The salsa is quite intriguing. I get why it works so well, I just wish I enjoyed celery on its own more.

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