Recipe and photograph - Dr Joan Ransley

Fillets of salmon are quick to cook and provide key nutrients for a healthy diet. In this recipe the pan-fried salmon is served with a colourful vegetable salsa scattered over the top.

This recipe contains 10 different plant derived ingredients all of which are beneficial to a healthy gut microbiome.

Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which are known to benefit the health of the gut in three main ways. Omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on the type and abundance of gut microbes. They also play a key role in the gut immune system which helps to defend the body against infections and, they are involved in the regulation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) produced in the large intestine which are vital for keeping the wall of the gut healthy.

The inside of each kernel of sweetcorn is almost pure starch but it is surrounded by a cellulose husk which cannot be completely broken down by the human gut. As the kernels travel through the gut, the starch is squeezed out and digested but the husk will pass though the body into the stools. The time taken for sweetcorn to appear in the stools after eating is an indication of gastrointestinal transit time. The passage of food through the gut can vary according to age, diet, emotional state and health status but as a rough guide should be somewhere between 24-36 hours.

Despite the incomplete digestion of the sweetcorn kernel, it is a valuable source of dietary fibre.


Check each salmon fillet for any small pin bones and remove. Drizzle the salmon with approximately half a tbsp of olive oil, and a twist of ground pepper.

To make the salsa: Place 2 tbsps of olive oil into a non-stick frying pan and add the salad onions, celery, and pine nuts and cook gently for 5 minutes or until the pine nuts and onions just begin to brown. Add the sweetcorn, olives, chilli, lemon zest and parsley and heat though. Remove the cooked salsa from the pan and set aside.

Place the remaining ½ tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Place the salmon skin side down in the hot pan. Cook until the skin of the salmon is crisp. Turn the salmon fillets over, reduce the heat and cook for a further 3-4 minutes depending on how well cooked you like the salmon.

Place the salmon on four warmed plates and spoon the salsa over. Finish the dish with a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Alternative serving suggestion

The salmon would be lovely served with the drizzle of creamy green pea and kale sauce (see Super quick buckwheat noodles with creamy green pea and kale sauce recipe).

The salsa would be a great accompaniment to other fried or baked fish such as mackerel and cod.

This dish would be lovely paired with mashed sweet potato.

Cooking tips

  • Prepare all the ingredients in advance so that this dish can be cooked quickly and put on the table in minutes.
  • Chopping the vegetables up small means they will cook quickly.
  • When cooking salmon keep a keen eye on the middle of the fillet which turns opaque when the salmon is cooked through.


 Per Serving (g)Per 100g
Calories (kcal/KJ)409 / 1707121 / 504
Protein (g)319.3
Fat (g)236.9
Saturated Fat (g)3.31
Carbohydrate (g)164.6
Sugar (g)113.2
Fibre (g)5.31.6
Sodium (mg)210.262
Salt equivalent (g)0.530.16
Back to Recipes