Warm Salad of Salmon, Baby Spinach, Orzo and Crispy Capers



5 min


4 adult servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 10 minutes, Standing time: 5 minutes
Warm Salad of Salmon, Baby Spinach, Orzo and Crispy Capers

Recipe by Eshun Mott, photo by Maya Visnyea

This hearty and healthy salad of salmon, salty capers, baby spinach and fun rice-shaped orzo pasta will get your kids eating their vegetables and omega-3s all at once.


  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 tbsp olive oil , divided
  • 3 tbsp canola oil , divided
  • 1/4 cup capers , well drained and patted dry
  • 400 g salmon fillets
  • 1/4 tsp salt , divided
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper , divided
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil


  • Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 min or until al dente. Drain. Transfer to a baking sheet or tray, stir in 1 tbsp olive oil and spread out to cool.
  • Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add capers and fry for 2min or until light brown and dried. Remove from pan to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Pat fish dry with paper towels and season with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  • Return pan to burner over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tbsp canola oil, and heat until you can see the oil shimmering. Add salmon to pan, skin-side down, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 to 6 min, pressing down on fish occasionally with a spatula, or until salmon looks cooked up the sides. Turn salmon over and fry for 1 to 2 min longer or until fish is cooked to desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a plate and let cool for 5 min.
  • Transfer cooled orzo to a serving bowl. Add remaining olive oil, lemon juice, zest and syrup. Toss to combine. Add spinach and basil and toss. Season with remaining 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper. Discard skin, and break salmon into large chunks. Place fish on top of salad and sprinkle with crispy capers.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 493,
  • Protein
  • 23 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 35 g,
  • Fat
  • 27 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 661 mg.


Never thought of introducing kids to capers? Frying them makes them super crispy and adds a great crunch.