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Salmon and Watercress Sandwich with Paprika Mayo

January 14, 2010

Recipe: Salmon and Watercress Sandwich with Paprika Mayo
Cooking Time: About 20 minutes

Salmon & Watercress Sandwich

I’ve had a salmon craving lately. This is due partially to the fact that wild salmon has been on sale at the grocery store and I’ve reached the point in my life where I buy what is on sale at the store and convince myself I’m craving it, rather than buying what I went into the grocery store craving. (Yesterday I went in craving a whole roasted chicken and left with three very large turkey drumsticks that were on sale for $0.99/lb. Not sure what I will do with them…) I think this sort of budgeting is a sign I’ve officially reached the Responsible Adult Stage of my life, when you start getting more pleasure from saving money than you do from spending it. The budgeting is also the result of the very adult milestone that the husband and I officially reached today: We have bought a house. Am I excited? Anxious? Grateful? Filled with doubt? Relieved? Newly obsessed with paint colors? The answer is yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. Which is another reason I have salmon on the brain. The outside of the house, and several main walls inside, are painted a very unfortunate salmon color. Kind of pink, kind of peach and kind of, okay, really ugly.

$3 worth of turkey drumsticks that are significantly bigger than a fork

The inside walls are easily changed with a clean, crisp coat of white paint. But due to lack of funds (and energy)  the outside is likely to remain a salmon color for many months to come.  Maybe craving salmon is my way of trying to embrace the color. And the fact that the wild salmon I bought on sale ended up in a sandwich, not in a fancy dish, is a sign of what my life is going to be like for awhile while we completely re-paint the new place and orchestrate the move: busy.

Sandwich nights when I was growing up were always one of my favorite dinners. Grilled cheese usually meant my parents were going out somewhere and a babysitter was coming over. Reubens meant we were eating at the kitchen counter, not at a set table and tuna melts meant my mom was sick of cooking and wanted a night off (am I right, mom?). As a kid, sandwiches are a great thing. You have no carb-guilt about the bread, no tendencies to avoid mayonnaise and no hesitation before piling on a few more slices of cheese.  Until this week, I hadn’t had a sandwich for dinner in a long, long time. That is probably going to change over the next few weeks, when cooking is something I don’t have a lot of time to do. This isn’t a bad thing. To be honest, a sandwich for dinner was a treat.


Two thick slabs of toasted sourdough bread. Mayonnaise mixed with smoky paprika and a squirt of lemon. Grilled salmon topped with cool, peppery watercress. It was delicious. And, really easy.  I loved how the smokey, earthy paprika transformed the mayo into a really interesting spread, but the watercress was really the star. This superstar green has a pronounced peppery flavor and is incredibly healthy. I’ve read that Hippocrates built his first hospital next to a stream filled with wild watercress so he could feed it to sick patients. I doubt he fed it to them in something as delicious as a salmon sandwich, which is too bad. Watercress is awkward to eat in salads because the leaves are so skinny you can


barely get a fork in them. In a sandwich, though, it’s trapped between the bread and the flavor is much more interesting than plain old lettuce. If you chop the stems off,  watercress leaves also make a pretty garnish on bite-sized appetizers. I toasted slices of baguette, spread them with paprika mayo, and put a little bit of salmon and watercress on top. You can use grilled or poached

An appetizer version

salmon, but lox would work well, too.

Watercress also has the same bright, cheery green color that I’m thinking of painting on one wall in my new kitchen….the inspiration comes from this photo on Apartment Therapy. What do you think?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. MOM permalink
    January 19, 2010 9:49 pm

    You are right, sandwiches are a great change of pace for dinner. Your salmon sandwich sounds yummy!

  2. MOM permalink
    January 26, 2010 8:51 pm

    Just tried it, delicious!!!

  3. February 17, 2010 7:29 pm


    I wound up here via Culinate. This looks delicious! I love watercress paired with seafood of any kind. Can’t wait to check out more of your recipes.

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