If you are fortunate to live in the Northwest, fresh huckleberries are in season right now…and can be foraged and picked in the wild… or bought at local farmer’s markets. This salmon recipe is a 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.
NOTE: If you can’t find fresh huckleberries –fresh blueberries will work great too. The important word here is fresh.
how to make Grilled Salmon with Pickled huckleberries
Place the fresh huckleberries in a medium bowl. Make a quick pickling liquid in which to toss the fresh huckleberries: Heat sugar, vinegar, and coriander seeds in a small saucepan and stir until sugar has dissolved. (It may seem like a lot of sugar, but just keep in mind you won’t be consuming very much of the pickling liquid, it is just to help temper the very tart berries.) Add finely minced shallots and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour this over huckleberries, stir gently and set aside. You could make this the day before and refrigerate for the best flavor!
Step 6: Carefully place the salmon on a platter ( use two spatulas if it is a large one!), a wood board, or over a bed of greens, or quinoa. This Everyday Quinoa Recipe pairs really nicely with this. Give a squeeze of lemon.
Grilled Salmon with Pickled Huckleberry Relish. A fresh and summery meal, perfect for entertaining on dinners on the patio.
- 1 ½– 2 lb Fillet of Wild Salmon (skin on) sockeye or king salmon
- olive oil for brushing and salt and pepper
- ½ cup applewood chips (optional, but elevates)
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- lemon zest and juice
Pickled Huckleberry Relish
- 1 ½ cups fresh huckleberries (or fresh blueberries)
- ½ cup sugar (or honey)
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds (optional)
- 1 large shallot- very finely minced
Serve over a few handfuls of greens (arugula, baby kale, watercress) or with Everyday Quinoa .
- Preheat grill to high. If using wood chips, make a rectangle foil packet enclosing the wood chips and pierce the top in a few places with a knife (to let the smoke out) and place it directly on the heating grill, close the grill lid.
- Make Pickled Huckleberry Relish: Place huckleberries in a medium bowl. Heat sugar (or honey), vinegar, salt and coriander seeds in a small saucepan and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add minced shallots and simmer for two minutes. Pour the hot liquid over huckleberries, stir and set aside. You can make this ahead and refrigerate overnight, or use it right away.
- Prep Salmon: Brush both sides of salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Zest a small lemon right over the top of the salmon to capture the spray of the fragrant lemon oil, and sprinkle with one tablespoon thyme leaves.
- Grill: Wait to grill until the applewood chips begin smoking, then turn the heat down to low, grill salmon, skin side down, directly on the grill, on lowest heat, close lid. Check after 5 minutes. ( Note: if using king salmon- with is thicker and larger- this whole process will take longer, plan on double the time). 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, so check often- especially if it’s a thinner piece. Once salmon is cooked to medium-rare or medium (120-125 F) turn the heat off.
- Using two extra-large metal spatulas carefully place salmon on a platter, wood board or over greens. Squeeze with the juice of half a lemon.
- Serve: Right before serving, generously spoon the pickled huckleberry relish and just a little of pickling liquid over the salmon and greens, and scatter with thyme sprigs. Serve immediately.
Keep in mind, that even though there is quite a lot of sugar in the pickling liquid, you won’t be consuming this- it is to help temper the tartness of the huckleberries. If using blueberries, halve the sugar.
Feel free to grill individual pieces of salmon (skin on or skin removed) and top with the Pickled Huckleberry relish. Sub King salmon or other types of fish. Wild king salmon is absolutely delicious here because of its inherent richness.
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