blackened salmon & pineapple salsa

I am on the cusp of my Argentine escapade and disappointingly, my pre-trip M.O. remains the same for better or worse:  not a damn thing is packed and I have a laundry list of chores that must get done before leaving.  On the bright side of things, I will be chillin’ with a glass of wine and gazing at acres upon acres of grapes exactly one week from now!  That vision alone is enough to get me through the chaos of the next few days…

In the meantime, I’m trying to eat as light as possible to somehow offset my anticipated overindulgent foodie adventure in the land of beef and wine.  Fortunately, I always keep my freezer stocked with individual wild Alaskan salmon filets for a quick and healthy weeknight meal.  I doubt that I need to tout the most celebrated benefit of this famous fish to you because most of us have heard it all before:  salmon = omega 3 rock star, Jimmy Page-style.  However, as naturally good as it is for me, I still have a little trouble getting past the – get this – “fishy” flavor.  To compensate, I usually prepare it in a way that I’m distracted from it’s “salmony” essence.  True food lovers and chefs alike might object to this strategy, but hey, you do what you gotta do to get the kids (or twenty-something adults) to eat well, right?  Today, I’ve coated the flesh with some blackening seasoning and topped it with a spicy fruit salsa…  This main dish is easily thrown together with a few fresh ingredients and hits all of the right notes.  ENJOY!

Blackened Salmon & Pineapple Salsa
Serves 2

1 cup pineapple, diced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 – 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and rib removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves loosely packed, then chopped
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 Tbsp. lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
Pinch of salt
Grind of pepper
1 1/2 tsp. sugar

2 wild Alaskan salmon filets, skin removed
Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. blackening seasoning*

In a small bowl, combine pineapple, scallions, chili, cilantro, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Stir until well combined.  Keep at room temperature or put in the refrigerator.  It can be made up to two days in advance if kept in the refrigerator.

In the meantime, brush both sides of the salmon with olive oil.  Sprinkle blackening seasoning evenly on each side of the filets.   Heat a large skillet over a medium high flame.  Once hot, add the salmon and cook for 3 – 4 minutes on each side before flipping.   Only turn the salmon once to achieve the crusty blackened finish.  The flesh will be almost opaque when it’s time to flip and flakey when completely cooked.  Transfer each filet to a dish, top with pineapple salsa and serve immediately.

A couple notes:

  • I initially put the whole serrano chili in the recipe.  Big mistake.  It was way too hot.  I recommend using a whole jalapeno or 1/4 – 1 /2 serrano, depending on your heat tolerance.
  • I thought I had blackening season in my pantry and discovered I was wrong just as I was about to begin cooking.  Here’s a quick and dirty blackening seasoning recipe if you’re out of stock.

Combine the following:
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder


5 Responses to “blackened salmon & pineapple salsa”

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  1. Ted says:

    Right out of a magazine! 🙂 Keep it going, Alyssa!

  2. Carrie says:

    Gorgeous! I’m going to save this for summertime for sure. That seasoning combined with all of those fresh fruits and vegetables sounds wonderful!

  3. Jessie says:

    Made this tonight. Two thumbs up! Keep ’em coming!

  4. Melissa says:

    My mother-in-law gave me a pineapple last week and I immediately thought of this post. Since my hubby doesn’t like salmon I used a mild white fish instead. The dish was awesome. I can’t wait to make this again during the summer.


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