Salmon, It's what's for dinner!

Summer time is almost upon us and I’m always looking for some quick and delicious meals that minimize my time in the kitchen and over a hot stove. Fish is a good option because of the varieties available and the fact that it typically cooks quickly. 

We love fish around our house and one of our staples is Salmon. It’s a tasty fish that can be prepared in a variety of ways from Sashimi to smoked, and broiled to poached. You can even make salmon roll (like a lobster roll) for a picnic lunch. We typically eat our salmon grilled, broiled or smoked (Lox) on a bagel with some cream cheese.

A Native species

Salmon is native to tributaries in North America that feed into both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It has also been introduced into the Great Lakes and is intensely farmed all over the world. Salmon in the wild are anadromous; meaning that they are born in fresh water, travel to the sea and then return to the place they were born to spawn. 

This is important to the ecosystem because it is a vital transfer of nutrients from the oceans back to the land when the Salmon die or are eaten. They are also a vital food source for bears and other species as well as us humans. Salmon is high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids making it a nutritious food as well.

Eating seasonally

I like to practice eating seasonally for a few reasons. First reason is that produce is at the height of its flavor and typically its least expense; in effect, it’s cheap.  Mix some seasonal greens with a bit of smoked salmon and you have a delicious salad for a healthy lunch or a quick dinner.

Feeding a crowd

If you are having a dinner party, consider preparing a whole Salmon as a main or fish course. You don’t have to overly season the fish and it cooks in a matter of minutes. Add the proper sauce and you will have a winning dish on your hands.

Today I’m going to share two recipes for Salmon with you. They should be easy to prepare and you can find all the ingredients locally with maybe the exception of Champagne vinegar. Champagne vinegar is a mild vinegar and acceptable substitutions are white wine or rice vinegars. An alternative is a mixture of 2/3 white wine to 1/3 rice vinegar. 

Live, Laugh, Love and Eat Well.

Spinach and Smoke Salmon Salad with Lemon Dill Dressing

Courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine

  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP chopped dill, fresh
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 8 cups baby spinach (about 7oz)
  • 6oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut crosswise into ½ inch ribbons
  • 1 medium English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 4 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, dill and season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach, smoked salmon, cucumber, radishes, and scallions to the bowl and toss well. Transfer the salad to plates and serve.

Whole Wild Salmon Fillet with Mustard Sauce

Courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine

  • 1 ¼ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • One 4 ½ LB wild King Salmon fillet with skin
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup whole grain mustard
  • ¼ tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 TBSP Champagne vinegar

In a bowl, whisk 1 cup of the oil with the shallot and dill seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour 2/3 of the marinade onto a rimmed baking sheet; add the salmon skin side up. Spread the remaining marinade over the skin. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mustard, lemon zest, vinegar and remaining ¼ cup of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate the sauce until chilled, at least 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat. Scrape the marinade off the salmon and transfer it skin side down to another rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Broil the salmon about 12 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the fillet registers 125 to 130 F. Let the salmon rest for 10 minutes, then transfer to a platter and serve with the mustard sauce.

Click Here for a printable PDF of the recipes in this article!