This is hands-down one of my favorite salmon recipes! 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 mostly 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 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. (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 2 minutes. Pour this over huckleberries, stir gently and set aside. You could make this the day before and refrigerate for the best flavor!
Place atop 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)
- olive oil for brushing and salt and pepper
- ½ C apple wood chips ( optional)
- lemon zest and juice
- 1 ½ C fresh huckleberries
- ½ C sugar ( or honey)
- ½ C red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp whole coriander seeds (optional)
- 1 large shallot- finely minced
Serve over a few handful of greens (arugula, baby kale, watercress) with Everyday Quinoa .
- 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.
- Make Relish: Place huckleberries in a medium bowl. Heat sugar ( or honey), vinegar, salt and coriander seeds in a small sauce pan and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add minced shallots and simmer two minutes. Pour over hot liquid over huckleberries, stir and set aside. You can make this ahead and refrigerate over night, or use right away.
- Brush both sides of salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once apple wood chips begin smoking, turn heat down to low, grill salmon, skin side down, directly on the grill, on lowest heat, and sprinkle with zest of one lemon, and one tablespoon thyme leaves. Close 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 it’s a thinner piece.
- Once salmon is cooked to medium rare or medium, turn heat off.
- Using two extra large spatulas carefully place salmon on a platter over greens. Squeeze with the juice of half a lemon. Generously spoon the pickled huckleberry relish and a little pickling liquid over the salmon and greens, and scatter with thyme sprigs. Serve immediately.
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