Crispy-skin salmon 
& three-grain salad

Crispy-skin salmon 
& three-grain salad

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Looking for healthy salads with quinoa, buckwheat or barley? This crispy skin salmon recipe combines all three.


  • 4 salmon fillets
  • ¾ cup barley
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • ¾ cup buckwheat
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate juice
  • Salt
  • 125ml grapeseed or pure olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • Seeds of ½ a pomegranate
  • ¼ cup cranberries

Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Remove the skin of the salmon by placing the fillet skin side down, carefully cutting into the line where the flesh meets the skin. Grab the skin and move the fillet back and forward against the blade, keeping the knife steady until it goes all the way through.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Sprinkle both sides of the skin with salt and drizzle a little oil before putting another sheet of baking paper on top and sandwiching with another baking tray. Place a weight on top (I use a mortar) and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove top layer and allow to dry out before serving.

In three separate saucepans add the barley, quinoa and buckwheat. To each of them add a third of the lemongrass and 1.5 cups of water. Bring to the boil before turning to low and simmering for 12 minutes. The barley may take an extra five to 10 minutes. Once cooked, discard lemongrass stalk.

In a small processor, or using a whisk, combine the mustard, yolk, pomegranate juice and salt. With the motor still running, or while still whisking, gradually add a tiny amount of oil.

Repeat this step four times, gradually adding more of the oil until there is nothing left and the mix hangs from the whisk or a spoon. Fold through lemon juice to finish.

In a big bowl combine the three grains, slivered almonds, pomegranate seeds and cranberries. Set aside before serving.

Heat an ovenproof frypan on medium to high heat. Add the oil followed by the fish. You should hear a gentle sizzle. Cook for two minutes or until fish turns opaque up the sides before turning over and putting in the oven for 90 seconds, or until the blade comes out warm once inserted into the thickest part of the fish.

To serve, place a few spoonfuls of the grain salad on the bottom. Using your hands, pull apart the warm fish and spread evenly on top. Crack or use a knife to separate salmon skin into crisp-size pieces before evenly spreading around salmon. Then, using a spoon, dollop the pomegranate sauce around the side and on top of the salmon.

Recipe from Dan Churchill

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