Watercress-Edamame Salad With Poached Salmon and Asian Pesto

An Asian salad with a ginger-maple vinaigrette is topped with poached salmon and a zesty pesto.

Poached Salmon With Asian Pesto and Watercress Salad

For the Pesto

Makes four servings
Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes, plus time to poach salmon


  • 1 tbs. minced gingerroot
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice


Place all ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until smooth, about one minute. Spoon pesto onto the poached salmon fillets and serve.

For the Watercress Salad


  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 3 tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp. grated gingerroot
  • 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • 2 cups tightly packed watercress
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted


  • First make a vinaigrette: Place cilantro, olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, gingerroot, and maple syrup into a small food processor and process about one minute, until smooth.
  • Rinse the edamame well and mix with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Combine with watercress and cabbage, and toss.
  • Just before serving, dress with cilantro vinaigrette and top with sesame seeds.

Why No Numbers?

Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need. — The Editors

This originally appeared as “Poached Salmon With Asian Pesto and Watercress Salad” in the May 2018 print issue of Experience Life.

, MS, director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, is the author of several cookbooks, including The Healthy Mind Cookbook and The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, published by Ten Speed Press, Penguin Random House LLC, where some of these recipes originally appeared. She lives in San Rafael, Calif.

Photography by Andrea DAgosto; Prop Styling by Alicia Buszczak; Food Styling by Paul Jackman

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