Salmon with Spinach and Watermelon Salad

“There’s a knife in my home and it’s made out of waterMELONE.” Have you seen that vine? Its a running joke between my sister and I and it comes out in full force during the summer months. I love watermelon, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried it with other foods beside fruit. Thank you Ariel for a recipe to put me out of my comfort zone. Here is her simple Salmon with spinach and watermelon salad.

Salmon with Spinach and Watermelon Salad by ArielCooks


I really like fruit in salad. Fruit salad is great, but fruit in a green salad adds sweetness in an unexpected place. This watermelon spinach salad is balanced with chewy, hearty wheat berries, herbaceous basil, and a little salty feta. The salmon is cooked simply, seasoned with salt and pepper and pan seared. A drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lime over both fish and salad ties it all together.

Serves 2.

 For the fish:

  • 2 6-8oz salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or other high-heat oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the salad:

  • 7oz baby spinach or other salad greens
  • ½ cup dried wheat berries
  • 1¼ cup water or broth
  • 1½ cups cubed watermelon, approximately ¼ small watermelon
  • 2-3 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons, divided
  • Olive oil
  • ½ lime
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Remove salmon from the refrigerator and let rest on a plate at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the salad. Put dried wheat berries and water or broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes. Wheat berries should be chewy. Strain any remaining liquid. Allow to cool to room temperature, if desired.

Toss spinach, cooked wheat berries, watermelon, feta, and basil, reserving some for garnish. Put on two plates.

Prepare the fish. Pat both sides dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and let the pan heat up.

When the pan is hot, add oil to coat the pan. Heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the fillets skin-side down. Cook the salmon without moving until the flesh has cooked ~3/4 of the way up – the timing will vary depending on the thickness of the fillets. Flip the fish and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

 Remove the fish from the pan and place skin-side down on a paper-towel lined plate.

 Place salmon atop salad, drizzle with olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Note from the Author:

Meals should be delicious.

They shouldn’t be complicated or expensive. Most importantly they should be practical. Creating and sharing a meal with loved ones is something I value greatly, but not at the expense of the time we share together.

While I do typically try to cook with a lot of vegetables, food should be satisfying and occasionally indulgent. At the end of the day, small or large, whatever you feel you can do consistently is the most important aspect of any positive change. I hope you’ll join me. I’m Ariel – let’s cook together.

*Follow her on Instagram at, ArielThinks or check out other recipes here.*

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