This is hands down one of my favorite salmon recipes ever. The first time I made this Grilled Huckleberry Salmon, Brian wittily called it –a bear’s dream. He’s clever that way. Wild salmon is grilled until the skin becomes crispy. Then its served with a flavorful Pickled Huckleberry -Shallot Relish. A feast fit for a bear.Sometimes when I hear huckleberry “sauce”, disturbing images of cloyingly sweet, jelly like substances come to mind. To be clear- this is not that. This is a fresh huckleberry relish, one that is lightly, quickly pickled with shallots and coriander seeds, enhancing the huckleberries, while keeping the berries fresh, plump, and intact.
If you are fortunate to live in the Northwest, fresh huckleberries are in season right now…and can foraged and picked in the wild… or bought at local farmers markets. This salmon recipe is fun way to incorporate fresh huckleberries into a savory dish, and the pickled relish is delicious with chicken or even lamb — if fish is not your thing. If you can’t find fresh huckleberries –fresh blackberries or blueberries will work great too. The important word here is fresh.
Place the fresh huckleberries in a medium bowl. Heat sugar, vinegar and coriander seeds in a small sauce pan and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add finely minced shallots and simmer 2 minutes. Pour over huckleberries, stir gently and set aside.
Place atop a bed of greens, or quinoa. Give a squeeze of lemon.
- 1 ½- 2 lb Fillet of Wild Salmon ( skin on)
- 1 ½ C fresh huckleberries
- ½ C sugar
- ½ C red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds (optional)
- lemon zest and juice
- 1 large shallot- finely minced
- 1 Cup greens ( arugula, baby kale, watercress)
- Salt and pepper
- ½ C apple wood chips ( optional)
- Preheat grill to medium high. Make a little bowl out of 2-3 layers of foil the size of half a grapefruit. Place apple wood chips inside the foil bowl, and place it directly on the heating grill, close the grill lid.
- Place huckleberries in a medium bowl. Heat sugar, vinegar and coriander seeds in a small sauce pan and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add minced shallots and simmer two minutes. Pour over huckleberries, stir and set aside.
- Brush both sides of salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place skin side down. Sprinkle with zest of one lemon, and one Tablespoon thyme leaves.
- Once apple wood chips begin smoking, turn heat down to low, grill salmon, skin side down, directly on the grill, on lowest heat, closing lid. Check after 5 minutes. Shift salmon to create crosshatch marks on the skin, and close lid again for just a few minutes. Salmon at this point will cook quickly, especially if its a thinner piece.
- Once salmon is cooked to medium rare or medium, turn heat off.
- Place salmon on a platter over greens. Squeeze with juice of half a lemon. Generously spoon pickled huckleberries and pickling liquid over the salmon and greens, and scatter with thyme sprigs. Serve immediately.