Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Grilled Salmon with Watercress and Cherry Tomatoes

Grilled Salmon with Watercress and Cherry Tomatoes

With nearly 3,000 miles of coastline, you can imagine how wonderful Chile’s seafood is. We prefer to grill salmon with the skin on, as it protects the fish from the high heat of the grill.


  • 4 skin-on salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each, preferably wild-caught
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons merquén, chili powder, or smoked paprika
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups watercress, rinsed, drained, and dried
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, preferably a colorful heirloom mix, halved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard


Step 1

Rinse the salmon fillets under cold running water and dry on paper towels. Run your fingers over the flesh side and remove any pin bones with kitchen tweezers or pliers. Using a pastry brush, brush 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on both sides of the salmon fillets. Season evenly with the merquén as well as salt and pepper. 

Step 2

Make the vinaigrette: In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 3

Combine the watercress and tomatoes in a mixing bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

Step 4

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high. Arrange the salmon, skin side down, directly on the grill grate. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the salmon is opaque and flakes easily when pressed with a fork. Using a thin spatula, carefully transfer the salmon fillets to a plate or platter.

Step 5

Shake the jar with the vinaigrette ingredients vigorously until the dressing is emulsified. Immediately pour over the watercress and tomatoes, and toss gently. Divide among four dinner plates and top with the salmon fillets.

Serves 4Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club