Salmon with Berry Salsa combines a succulent side of salmon, simply roasted with olive oil, lemon, and salt, with a juicy tumble of mixed berry salsa spiked with lime and jalapeño. It’s a 30 minute meal no one will forget.
It just feels right to pair up fish and salsa, and it provides a never-ending kaleidoscope of recipes in our house as I change up the type of fish, or the ingredients in my salsas.
I admit it, I have a thing for fish and salsa, but there are worse addictions…I think it’s the best combination, especially in the warmer weather, and I can’t think of a more resplendent meal for spring than this salmon with fresh berries…until, of course, I come up with my next iteration. But for now I’m all about this gorgeous meal.
Once berries start coming into season I go crazy thinking up ways to use them, and I thought it would be fun to use a mix of berries for the salsa…I often limit myself to one type of fruit like I did with my Whitefish with Cherry Salsa, or my Salmon with Kiwi Salsa. Then again, sometimes I let loose ~ my Spicy Fruit Salsa is a good example, that had a little bit of everything in it!
I mix together the berries while the salmon cooks and that makes this a 25 minute meal!
The basic Mexican flavors work so well in salsa I rarely see the need to change them up, and that makes it easy to experiment with new combinations of fruit:
Basic formula for a fruit salsa ~
- fresh lime juice
- minced jalapeño (leave the seeds in for more heat)
- finely minced red onion
- chopped fresh cilantro (you could add some fresh mint)
- Chop your fruit, which must be ripe, into small, even pieces. You can leave small berries whole, but cut or dice larger ones.
- Don’t make it too far in advance, the fruit will start to break down soon after cutting.
You can make a dramatic presentation using a side of salmon. You can find them at Costco, fish mongers, or you can order them if you have a fish counter at your local market. They make a great dish for company because it’s no harder to roast a side of salmon as it is to do an individual fillet, and as long as you have your oven pre-heated, you can throw it in 30 minutes before you want to eat.
What is a side of salmon
- a side of salmon is another name for a whole fish that has been prepared for cooking. The head and tail have been trimmed, it’s been filleted, and ready to cook.
- A side of salmon usually weighs from 2-4 lbs in the market, so you can use it for meal prep, or to serve a large family or guests. Allow 1/4 to 1/3 pound per person.
How to cook a side of salmon
- A side of salmon cooks in exactly the same way you’d cook a smaller cut of fish.
- Because of its size you’ll lay it out on a baking sheet, skin side down.
- Keep it whole for the best presentation, but you can also slice it into serving pieces with a sharp knife before cooking. It will not slice as cleaning after cooking, so if that’s important to you, you can do it while the fish is raw.
- Brush with olive oil, season with salt, and lemon juice.
- Cook in a preheated 400F oven for about 20-30 minutes, just until the fish flakes with a fork.
The diced strawberries give up their juices that mingle with the lime and jalapeño, while the other berries can remain whole to look pretty. If your blackberries are large, you’ll cut them in half.
Try the salsa with grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, or steak, too. Top fish tacos, spoon it over a salad, or serve as a side fruit salad. The stuff is too good to have only one way.
Should I buy wild or farmed salmon?
That’s definitely the question of the day, and it’s on my mind every time I visit my favorite fish counter. I think this article explains the dilemma well, if you’re interested.
- Wild salmon is the gold standard of salmon. It’s just that: wild, natural, healthy. It’s also pricy and sometimes hard to find.
- Farmed salmon is salmon that has been raised in pens, and is more affordable, but the problem is that those conditions can (not always!) lead to problems like contamination, disease, and unhealthy conditions for the fish, and therefore for us.
- To add to the confusion, some wild caught salmon is caught in polluted waters. (I know, right? How complicated is this going to get?)
- Some stores like Whole Foods are working to insure that their farmed salmon comes from reputable farms. I highly recommend talking with the guy/gal behind the fish counter to learn more.
- Last word: buy wild when you can, I think it’s better to eat less, but better, fish. Your farmed fish, while cheaper, probably did not enjoy a good life, and if that’s a concern for you, I would avoid it. Eat vegetarian for one more night a week, and splurge on wild caught when you can. But be aware that farming practices are getting better all the time.
Salmon with Berry Salsa
- 1/2 cup diced strawberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup blackberries halve if large
- 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeño finely diced
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pound salmon fillet
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Mix the salsa ingredients together and chill. Don't make this too far in advance, the fruit will start to break down.
- Put the salmon fillet on a baking sheet. You can line it with foil or parchment paper, that's optional. Tuck the lemon slices under the fish, along the outside edge. Brush with olive oil, and lightly season with salt.
- make sure your oven has reached 400F, then bake the fish for 20 -25 minutes, just until it's done through and flakes easily with a fork.
- Serve the fish with the salsa tumbled down the center.
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