May is the official start salmon season; California opened the season the first week of Ma,y and according to the Los Angeles Times, it’s gonna be a great year! A friend posted a picture on Facebook of a dinner he recently had in Chicago while attending the NRA Show (don’t get yourself worked up; NRA = National Restaurant Association). It looked so delicious that I wanted to have it for dinner… so I did! This recipe is fast and easy and so, so tasty.
When grilling fish always make sure that those grates are C-L-E-A-N and well-oiled before you start cooking. If you are still scared about your fish sticking to the grill, try using a flexible grilling basket like this one from Bull Outdoor. One thing to keep in mind when cooking fish, either on the grill or seared in a pan, is that it is the opposite of chicken. With chicken you usually start with the skin side to the heat first. When you do that with fish and then flip it, the part that is not as thick won’t get grill marks or a nice sear. Place the part of the fish that was against the bone to the heat first for better cooking and a nicer look. The rule I learned in school (applies to most things) is that the presentation side always feels the heat first.
The mustard vinaigrette is a delicious on e to have on hand double or triple the recipe and keep in the fridge for chicken, potatoes, salads, or whatever. And don’t be afraid of the micro greens, you can get them at Trader Joe’s for $2.99.
Grilled Salmon with Mustard Vinaigrette
For the salmon:
4 (6-ounce) center-cut salmon fillets, skin attached
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
2 to 3 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For garnish: Handful of micro greens
Rinse salmon in cold water and pat dry. Juice and zest the lemon into a shallow bowl large enough to hold the salmon without a lot of extra room. Add the thyme and garlic, then whisk in a couple glugs of oil. Put salmon in to the marinade and turn to coat. Leave on the counter to marinate if you are grilling soon or cover and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours (remove 30 minutes before grilling).
Preheat grill to medium-high. Brush and oil the grate before cooking. Remove salmon from marinade and blot with paper towels. Take a little olive oil in your hands and lightly rub the salmon; season with salt and pepper. Place fish on the grill (flesh-side down) at a 45° degree angle to the grates. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes then use a SPATULA to flip. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. The salmon is done when it is still moist, flake with a fork and has just turned opaque at the center.
To serve, plate the fish and drizzle with a little vinaigrette. Put a teaspoon of vinaigrette in a bowl to toss and lightly dress the micro greens — not more than that or they will wilt. Top salmon with dressed micro greens and serve.
I served the fish over Basic Grilled Summer Squash.
1 tablespoon of grainy mustard
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
Stir together the mustards, vinegar, shallots and thyme. Slowly drizzle and whisk in the oil. Will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!