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Smoked salmon and melon salad

Thu, 13 August, 2020

You needn’t cure your own salmon for this salad recipe, nor do you have to grow your melon – though the former certainly helps.

cured salmon and melon salad

A new salad recipe?

I don’t really like those salad recipes where they put together a couple of obvious ingredients with the third maybe slightly an unusual combination – and try to impress.

Like a perfectly common tomato and cucumber Greek-ish salad – but pomegranate seeds are thrown on top, so it’s a new recipe. It’s not, it’s a Greek salad with random pomegranate seeds. Have you ever seen a Greek throw pomegranate into their salad? No, they have different applications for the purple jewels.

smoked salmon with melon

Classic salads are the best

Classic salad combinations have been tried and tested and the reason they are classic is precisely because they are good combinations. I don’t deny there are new, fantastic discoveries, like Ottolenghi putting cinnamon into his salad dressing, but otherwise don’t fix what ain’t broke.

salad of layered smoked salmon and melon slices

Can you improve on melon-ham combo?

Melon is a perfect pairing with Parma ham, like smoked salmon is with cream cheese. But a couple of years ago I had this starter in a great little Provençal bistrot and I fell in love. Smoked fish – in the original it was local trout, house-smoked – was layered with deliciously cold and immaculately ripe melon slices.

There was a sprinkling of herbs, there was tart and sweet dressing and the whole dish was delightful. I didn’t ask for a recipe, fool me, but thanks to that omission I was able to create my own take on it here, without being accused of plagiarising theirs.

salmon with melon

Ripe, seasonal and good quality

I feel obliged to add a caveat here: if you put together a barely ripe supermarket melon with some bog-standard smoked salmon slices, you’ll be disappointed.

I can’t ever talk enough of the quality of the local, seasonal and artisanal and nowhere does it come to the fore more than in this concoction. Visit your farmers market and grope all the melons until you find a ripe fruit; or buy the most reduced in price supermarket one – it is bound to be the closest to ripe.

home cured salmon

Cure your own salmon

As for salmon, the solution is at hand too: cure your own. It is easy, it is cost effective and the taste quality is brilliant. You might never go back to the few miserly slices of orange fish flesh on a pointless cardboard tray that cost a fiver.

Smoked salmon and melon salad

Servings: 4Time: 10 minutes


  • 200g (6 oz.) smoked salmon
  • ½ galia or canteloupe melon
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • fresh mint leaves
  • pistachio slivers, for sprinkling


1. Slice the salmon thinly into slivers if you have it in one piece.

2. Peel the melon and scoop out the seeds. Slice it thinly with a sharp knife or with a mandolin.

3. Whisk the dressing ingredients; a milk frother is handy for this, especially battery operated.

how to mix dressing with milk frother

4. Arrange the salmon and melon on a platter, alternating slices, drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with mint and pistachio slivers.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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