Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Spice-Grilled Salmon with Tzatziki Salad

I picked this recipe from Simple Dinners by Donna Hay because of the Tzatziki Salad. I love tzatziki--that refreshing blend of yogurt, cucumber, mint and dill. In the book the salad is served next to Spice-Baked Chicken and since I don't eat meat or poultry, I thought the spices (cumin, chili flakes, thyme and lemon zest) would be equally delicious on salmon. 

Instead of baking or roasting the piece of (King) salmon, I did a nice pan grill. Obviously I didn't taste the chicken breast version but with the moist, tender salmon with its nice heat combined with the cool, crisp salad, I think this one would be hard to beat! 

Donna says, "I've borrowed the traditional ingredients of a cooling tzatziki and turned them into a refreshing salad for this spicy chicken salmon.

Spice-Grilled Salmon with Tzatziki Salad
Adapted from Simple Dinners by Donna Hay
(Serves 4)

*Note: The ingredients are the same (sans chicken of course) but I re-wrote the recipe directions for pan-grilling the salmon. 

1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 Tbsp shredded lemon zest
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 (6-7oz) salmon fillets
(I added a little salt and black pepper to salmon)

Tzatziki Salad:
1/2 cup thick plain yogurt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
sea salt
4 small cucumbers, sliced thinly lengthwise with a vegetable peeler
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped dill leaves
(I added freshly ground black pepper to serve)

Combine cumin, chili flakes, thyme, lemon zest, (salt and black pepper to taste) and oil in a shallow bowl. Add salmon and toss to coat. Set salmon aside for 20 minutes to sit with spices.

Make the salad dressing by combining yogurt, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl.  

Heat pan over medium-high on stove-top. When pan is hot, add salmon skin-side down and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook another 2-3 minutes or until salmon is cooked to your liking. Remove from heat. 

Divide the cucumber, mint and dill between plates and spoon over the dressing. Add the cooked salmon to the plate, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve.

Notes/Results: This was fabulous. Donna and I do salmon really well together. ;-) The salad is crisp and light--the cucumber ribbons and fresh herbs keep it from being heavy but, the thick lemony yogurt makes it satisfying. It does cool down the heat from the chili flakes on the salmon nicely. The salmon had great flavor and was perfectly moist and juicy. Quick, easy, healthy and tastes great--I would definitely make this again. 

It's a week of "Getting Saucy--Sauces, dressings & condiments & the dishes that love them!" at I Heart Cooking Clubs. You can see just how saucy the other participants got by checking out the picture links on the post. 



  1. A deli near me makes this awesome sandwich that has salmon and tzatziki on it...the two are really a perfect pair!

  2. What a beautiful plate! I love the idea of tzatziki in salad form and with spicy salmon.

  3. I think I like your version with the salmon much better than I would with chicken!! The salmon looks perfectly spiced and I bet the tzatziki sauce is the perfect balance. Very pretty!

  4. I love the sound of this salad, Deb! So refreshing!

  5. Couscous & ConsciousnessFebruary 14, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    This looks sensational, Deb. Love all the flavours going on, and I think salmon was a much better choice than chicken. I also love the idea of turning a traditional tzatziki into a salad - can't wait to try that.


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