Salmon has long been one of my favorite seafood options. Summertime is an especially great time to enjoy seafood of any kind. It’s light, great for you, and super easy to prepare. U.S. dietary guidelines recommend we eat at least two servings of fish a week. It’s also loaded with heart-healthy, brain-boosting omega-3 fats.
I used to purchase the bag of frozen salmon fillets found in many grocery stores. Being a mom of two, it was easier because I was able to make them last for a longer amount of time. I always baked them in the oven with a pat of butter on top with some salt and pepper. However, they never seemed to come out perfectly fork-tender and the seasoning was always watered down. I thought this was just as good as it would get!
Time for a change! I decided one day to be BOLD and try something new. What about using the GRILL? I made my husband use it frequently to grill chicken and steak. I can do this too!
Summertime was the perfect time to experiment this way – as we all try to use the oven as little as possible. It warms up the house and makes us feel hotter than need be – it’s already hot enough outside!
Being the nutrition and foodie nerd that I am, I started to do some research.
It was time to start purchasing raw salmon fillets. Our lives were changed!
The two most popular types of salmon that you may see available in your local grocery store are Atlantic and Alaskan (sockeye). Atlantic salmon is a larger pale orange version that is usually more oily with a thick flesh and mild flavor. The Alaskan salmon has a deeper red color, is thinner, and has more of a rich taste.
I find the Atlantic salmon to be a better crowd-pleaser – for kids and adults alike. Find a nice fillet with the skin still on! My favorite places to find this type of salmon are Wegmans and Lidl. I can usually get 4 to 6 two-inch-wide portions out of a large fillet.
I knew any recipe I created needed to be LIGHT and FRESH. I also learned how hot to keep the grill, when to flip the fish, and just how much butter to add to get a great flavor. (Hint: it’s a lot of butter. Yum!)
Check out the recipe for my Grilled Salmon with Homemade Herb Butter below. I also have some tips to ensure you have great results!
3lb Atlantic Salmon Fillet, skin on, cut in two-inch-wide portions
½ stick of plant-based butter, softened (sub with your favorite cow’s milk butter option if desired)
2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Fire up the grill, setting it on medium-high heat, and allow it to reach temperature.
Mince the fresh dill and parsley and mix it into your softened butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once the grill is heated up, spray the grates liberally with cooking spray. I use a plant-based grill spray. [Use your favorite option – or simply whatever you have on hand! Please be careful as some spray oils may cause the fire to inflame quickly! Keep a safe distance when spraying!]
Slather some of the butter onto the flesh side of the salmon portions. Put the salmon on the grill FLESH side down first!
Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes. Wait to flip onto the skin side until the salmon has cooked through about 2/3rds of the way.
If the grill is hot enough, the flesh should NOT stick to the grates when you go to flip it over. Flip the salmon over onto it’s skin side and grill until cooked through. The center will be fork tender and no longer bright pink.
Lather with more butter as it is finishing on the grill and add even MORE when you’ve pulled it off the grill. More butter is BETTER, duh.
Pair it with some fresh grilled veggies – tips to come in a later post – and a nice glass of white wine! Enjoy!