SUMMER SALMON WITH STRAWBERRY, MINT & CUCUMBER RELISH
Salmon begin their lives as eggs laid in the gravel of cold mountain springs. As they grow, these nutrient dense, brain building fish migrate hundreds, even thousands, of miles to the ocean and journey back to their fresh water stomping grounds to spawn. Known for its brain building Omega 3 fatty acids benefits, one serving boasts more of it than the average American gets from all other food over several days. The healthiest salmon in the world is wild Alaskan salmon. Researchers confirm regular consumption of wild Alaskan salmon is beneficial to overall health and the risk negligent. Farm raised salmon with its milder taste is fed corn--a diet unnatural to this marine creature--lowering the high level of important fatty acids, protein and amino acids. Salmon produced on farms is also exposed to higher levels of contamination and has less nutritional value than its wild cousin. The extensive use of of antibiotics in farmed salmon also poses human antibiotic resistance issues. Go wild! This preparation is a keeper and a spring and summer plate lovely enough for the most distinguished guest, Easter or Mother's Day brunch.
Nota bene: Gorgeous presented as a whole side of salmon, this recipe works equally well with salmon filets and steaks. This fish roasts beautifully in the oven. Turn oven to 450 degrees F. Cover a half sheet baking tray with aluminum foil. Spray foil generously (makes removing the fish without breaking it and clean up easier).
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
STRAWBERRY, MINT & CUCUMBER RELISH
1 English (or seedless) cucumber seeded & finely chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh mint, cut into thin strips
3-4 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and finely diced
3-4 pound side of salmon
1. Prepare the salsa 1-2 hours ahead of serving. In a medium bowl, mix the cucumber, scallion, mint, and vinegar. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours. Just before serving, stir in the strawberries.
2. To make the barbecue sauce, melt the butter and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the honey, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Cook for 2 minutes and set aside.
3. Prepare your grill. Brush the salmon with the barbecue sauce and place on a well-oiled rack. Grill 4-5 minutes per side. If you are preparing a side of salmon, there is no need to turn. Just cook for 12-14 minutes, depending on your preferred level of doneness. The fish is best just barely cooked through. The general rule is 10 minutes of grilling time to every one inch of thickness.
4. Remove the salmon from the grill and baste fish generously with barbecue sauce. Place on platter and serve topped with relish.