Saturday, April 16, 2011

What to Grill this Weekend: Salmon

Although I've been apprehensive to cook and eat salmon, I know the health benefits of this fish make it a super food. I tend to prefer mild, white, flaky fish to salmon. Jim just loves salmon and talked me into giving it a try the other night. And boy am I glad he did!

I of course went to my local Whole Foods who I know carries fresh fresh fresh seafood and has a comical and wildly knowledgeable staff behind the seafood counter. I explained that I dont' like "fishy-fish" and they told me that this Atlantic Salmon filet was delivered only hours before I walked in the door. With fish this fresh, the "fishy" flavors that I dislike will be mild. I asked about soaking the filet in milk, as I had read that would take away the fishy flavors. They told me that it doesn't really work as well as the old wives tale claims.

I felt like I hit the jackpot when I spotted this purple asparagus. It was my first time to find these and I was mesmerized. This asparagus would be the perfect accompaniment to my salmon dinner.

The fish mongers at Whole Foods were kind enough to even add the seasonings for me. For Jim, I had them season one filet with a lemon pepper rub. This rub would highlight the delicate flavors of the salmon.

For me, the fish mongers dusted my filet with a green chile rub which ended up being so incredibly spicy that it nicely masked any fish taste for me... I know, I know... the point is to taste the salmon. Well, not for me. I couldn't stop eating the salmon because the spice was so wonderful. I loved it!
Jim, my personal Grill-Master did the actual cooking while I photographed all around him. We are really doing our part to take advantage of this spring grill season when the weather is absolutely enjoyable.

I read several recipes that said to put fish on the grill with the skin side up. The fish monger at Whole Foods explicitly told me to put the fish skin side down first... so that is what we did.

Place the salmon skin side down on the hot grill and grill for 4 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn carefully with a wide spatula and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes. To get those beautiful cross-hatch grill marks, after two minutes, rotate fish 45 degrees. The salmon will be slightly raw in the center, but don't worry; it will keep cooking as it sits.

We absolutely loved how the asparagus turned out. We brushed the stalks with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, then placed on the grill for about five minutes. The magnificent purple asparagus turned a dark green when cooked on the grill.

Jim turned me into a believer. The benefits of salmon are so substantial, it's worth working this fish into our weekly meal plan. With so much focus on the amazing omega-3 benefits of salmon, other unique health benefits from salmon may have been inadvertently overlooked. A 4 oz portion of salmon is about 260 calories and is an excellent source of protein along with providing special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.

I thought this was very interesting: On the World's Healthiest Foods rating system, only two foods provide more omega-3s per standard serving than salmon. Those two foods are walnuts and flaxseeds.

For more information about salmon, how to choose and store it along with the sustainability issues, visit the Whole Foods web site. For more salmon recipes, visit


  1. We are a salmon loving family and yours looks very good. I have never seen/heard of purple asparagus though. Was it much different than the green?

  2. I'm so glad you tried and like salmon. I was very spoiled when living in Idaho-we had fresh wild salmon all the time. And it was less expensive there than here in TX.

    Salmon is my all time fave-people look at me like I'm nuts when I say that is what I'd like as my last meal. Mmmmmmm!

  3. That purple asparagus looks lovely. I've been a salmon hater for a while, but I need to give it another go I think!


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