Saturday, May 24, 2014

Grilled Salmon and Pineapple with Avocado Dressing

Last Year's Post: French Rhubarb Tarts
Two Years Ago:  Pesto Pasta with Edamame, Spinach and Almonds

My favorite recipes are fresh, delicious and good for you.  This one fits the bill on all three accounts - fresh herbs, juicy sweet pineapple, and rich meaty salmon - all grilled up for a fabulous summer dinner.

I was having a little trouble finding fresh pineapple rings and I'm basically too lazy to make my own out of a whole pineapple, so I did a little calling around and found a grocery store that had fresh rings that happened to be on The Lawyer's way home.  The first thing you might want to understand about The Lawyer is his motto - "when in doubt, buy extra".  Over time this has led to various excesses arriving at our house (three types of salsa, four kinds of canned tomatoes, etc.) to the point where I've learned (that's what happens in relationships over time, you learn) to be very specific when he's going to stop at the store.  "One can of whole tomatoes. Just one small can. Not two."

Anyway, I thought I was fairly specific about pineapple rings but apparently not specific enough.  He arrived home without said pineapple rings ("they were wrapped too tight and had been squished into ovals") but with a package of pineapple slabs ("they look pretty") and a whole pineapple that had been peeled and cored.  OK, I could make the whole pineapple work - it's easy to slice - but we now have pineapple for the next month.  He definitely covers all the bases.

The pineapple rings get brushed with fresh herb oil and grilled right along side the salmon.  If you've never had grilled pineapple, it's a real treat - slightly smoky and warm while still firm and sweet.  After grilling you simply spoon the avocado herb dressing (note:  make at least 15 minutes in advance) over everything and serve.  It tastes fresh, light and very gourmet.

If you have any leftovers (doubtful), chop and mix them with any remaining dressing and some couscous or rice for a great salad the next day.

printable recipe
Grilled Salmon and Pineapple with Avocado Dressing
Serves 4

Avocado Dressing:
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/8 teaspoon anchovy paste, optional
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small clove garlic, smashed
½ avocado, diced

For the salmon and pineapple:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh basil, plus sprigs for garnish
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon, plus sprig for garnish
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Four 4-ounce skinless salmon fillets, about 1” thick
Four ½” thick round slices (rings) of fresh pineapple

Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor.  Add 2 tablespoons of water and process until smooth.  Cover the dressing and let stand for 15 minutes to 1 hour for the flavors to blend.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Whisk the oil, basil, chives, tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl to blend.  Brush the salmon and pineapple slices with the herb oil mixture.

Cook the salmon until barely cooked through and still pink inside, about 4 minutes per side.  Cook the pineapple until it has nice grill marks, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

To serve, place one pineapple ring on each plate and top with salmon.  Spoon avocado dressing over the salmon.  Garnish with basil and tarragon sprigs. 

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