Grilled Salmon topped with Fresh Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

101_4913Here in the Northwest, we enjoy fresh seafood for most of the year.  During the spring and summer months our treasured Salmon are in season.  These divine little jewels are unique in flavor, compared to other types of fish, and provide the culinary enthusiast (or professional) an appetizing main course for a summer dinner menu. 101_5052

Grilling is one of the best methods for preparing salmon.  A perfectly grilled salmon can be paired with a variety of sauces, salsa’s, compotes, chutneys, vinaigrettes or rubs.  I have so many different recipes, it’s been hard to choose which recipes to blog!  This particular grilled salmon is simple, full flavored and utilizes the summers bounty. 

One afternoon, I was hard pressed to find something to top the fresh salmon I’d just purchased.  Most people are happy with a beautifully grilled salmon laced with a bit of olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.  But not my crew.  No, they have to have a sauce.  Or something comparable.  While in culinary school, I learned to prepare many of the great French sauces.  And of course I had to come home and practice those sauces in my own kitchen.   And, of course, my family enjoyed taste testing all those sauces.  Ever since those taste testing days my crew now needs a sauce for any grilled or pan seared fish or meat.  Serve a meal without a sauce and the first words out of someone’s mouth is “where’s the sauce?”  Just to be ornery, I recently ordered a darling wood sign to adorn my kitchen with those very words. 

Fearful, I’d hear those dreaded words, I came up this recipe.  I had a bunch of fresh basil from the farmers market, beautiful summer heirloom tomatoes from my neighbor’s yard and a small tub of whole milk mozzarella in the frig.  I could make a delicious bruschetta, I thought.  Then the light bulb went on and my “sauce” or really salsa of sorts, was born!  Dinner was saved.

The lovely piece about this recipe is it’s versatility.  If you don’t have a grill, pan sear your salmon.  If you don’t like salmon, try this bruschetta, minus the mozzarella, on a sturdy white fish such as Halibut.  Try the bruschetta recipe with fresh baguette slices or toss with fresh greens from your garden.  Summer is a time to relish the slow pace, the warm air, and happy faces from your crew because you served a “sauce” with dinner!   Make it easy, everyday gourmet!

Grilled Salmon Topped with a Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

4 Salmon Fillets (about 4-6 oz each)

1 lemon

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Bruschetta recipe to follow

Pre-heat your grill to 400 degrees.  For fuss free grilling I typically prepare 4 squares of foil and then place each piece of salmon on the foil.  If you’d like to cook your salmon directly on the grill, make sure your grill has been well oiled so the fish won’t stick.  I wad up a piece of paper towel and dip it in some oil and then with my tongs, brush the grill several times allowing about 5 minutes in between brushing. 

Once you’ve placed your fish on the foil or a platter, squeeze a little lemon juice on each piece, then drizzle with a little olive oil, followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Grill the salmon to your desire.  Many people prefer their salmon cooked just slightly, with pink in the center.  I, on the other hand, flustered my Chef instructors, because I like my salmon almost completely cooked through.  However you prefer your salmon cooked, just make sure you begin with a fresh piece of salmon.

Once your salmon is done, place the fillets on a platter or individual plates and top with the delicious bruschetta. 

Summer Bruschetta

4 – 5 ripe summer tomatoes, diced and let drain for about 10 minutes

1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade (or finely chopped)

1 clove garlic, minced (use up to 3 cloves garlic if serving as an appetizer)

1/4 cup whole milk mozzarella, finely diced (optional)

a drizzle of balsamic vinegar

a drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Toss tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and garlic.  Next just lightly drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar (about 1 tablespoon), and olive oil over the top.  Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and toss.  Taste for seasoning. 

This is an easy bruschetta to prepare, very relaxed, using your taste buds for direction.  For fun, add some toasted pine nuts to the bruschetta for a yummy appetizer.  Enjoy!

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