Saturday, June 16, 2012

Grilled Salmon Tacos & Cucumber Avocado Salsa


Here's another summer recipe that should make even the pickiest eater happy. Fresh salmon fillets are marinated in a smoky spice blend and then grilled and flaked to fill warmed corn tortillas. The salsa is a cool and refreshing mix of cucumbers, avocados and diced tomatoes with plenty of lime and cilantro. To top off the tacos, I made a tangy dip with yogurt, lime and cilantro which is so much healthier (and tastier!) than sour cream. I used an indoor George Foreman grill for my salmon, so adjust cooking time if using an outdoor grill. You could also sear these in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet.

Grilled Salmon Tacos & Cucumber Avocado Salsa

Ingredients:

For the salmon:
1 lb salmon fillets, skin-on
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp grape seed or olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 corn tortillas


For the salsa:
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes
1 ripe but firm avocado, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded & diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Zest of 2 limes
1 tbsp grape seed or olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste


For the dip:
1 c. Greek yogurt, drained
1/4 c. chopped cilantro leaves
Juice & zest of 1 lime
1 tsp honey
Salt & pepper, to taste

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 30 - 45 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Equipment Needed: Grill, food processor or blender


Rinse the salmon fillets and pat dry. Prepare the marinade for the salmon by combining the smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, lime juice and 1 tablespoon of oil. Spread the marinade over the salmon and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To de-seed a cucumber, first peel it and then slice it in half lengthwise. Run a spoon down the center of the cucumber to remove the seeds and membranes. You can then proceed with dicing it.


In a small bowl, combine the halved cherry tomatoes, diced onions, diced cucumbers, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and lime zest. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve, giving the flavors of the salsa time to come together.


As a tip, add the diced avocado to the salsa immediately before serving.  This helps prevent your salsa from becoming guacamole!


The finished salsa is best eaten the same day as the cucumbers release juice the longer it sits. I promise that you won't have problems getting rid of this!


The cilantro-lime dip can also be made ahead of time. Simply combine all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Adjust salt and honey to taste.


This is a super easy recipe and a great alternative to sour cream if you are like me and need to have a creamy dip for tacos. I often change the seasonings depending on what I'm cooking, such as adding hot peppers, cumin, garlic, lemon juice, paprika etc.  


Warm your tortillas per the package directions. Instead of having another pan to clean, I just heated mine on the grill, using a little olive oil. Wrap the tortillas in foil and keep warm in an oven until needed.


The salmon should be grilled skin side up for 2-3 minutes and then finished skin-side down until cooked to about medium, another 4 -6 minutes depending on thickness. Salmon will be opaque on the outside and a rosy pink towards the center.


Remove salmon from the grill and allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing or flaking for the tacos. To assemble, place a few pieces of salmon into the tortillas, followed by the salsa and a dollop of cilantro-lime dip. Use a few cilantro sprigs for garnish if desired.