Friday, January 23, 2009

Peppered Salmon with Creamy Chickpea Dressing & Fresh Greens for Tyler Florence Fridays

This month, more than ever I have been appreciating the number of healthy but still flavorful recipes Tyler has both on the Food Network website and in his books. Yes, I won't argue that he has many less healthy recipes too, but he has a lot of good-for-you choices, with interesting flavor combinations that taste really great and make selecting my Tyler Florence Friday recipes easy. This recipe for Peppered Salmon with Creamy Chickpea Dressing and Fresh Greens is from Tyler's Ultimate (page 58), has some of my favorite ingredients: salmon, chickpeas, lemon, cumin, baby spinach, mint and dill. Plus anytime I can make a great meal in less than 30 minutes, I am game to try it.

Tyler says "Lemon-chickpea vinaigrette is an easy-to-make component that brings a lot of flavor to the dish while balancing the subtle richness of fresh salmon. Add a bag of fresh spinach and you've got a fast healthy meal you can make in well under an hour."

Peppered S
almon with Creamy Chickpea Dressing and Fresh Greens
Tyler's Ultimate, Tyler Florence
(Serves 4)

1/4 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup coriander seeds
1 pound salmon fillet, skin on
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt 

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
Juice of 1 lemon
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bag (10 ounces) baby spinach
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 bunch of fresh dill

lemon wedges for serving

Put the peppercorns and coriander in a clean spice grinder and pulse to a coarse grind. Pour the mixture out onto a large plate. Roll the salmon in the spices until coated all over. 

Heat a 2-count of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is smoking. Sprinkle the salmon with salt, add it to the pan and sear for 4 to 5 minutes to develop a good crust. Turn the fillet and cook 4 to 5 minutes on the other side, until the salmon begins to flake apart when gently prodded with a fork. Put the salmon on a plate, cover with foil and set aside at room temperature. 

For the vinaigrette, open the can of chickpeas and dump it straight into a bowl, without draining.  Add the olive oil, cumin, paprika, lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper and stir that up. Spoon about half of the vinaigrette into a blender and puree; stir the puree back into the rest of the vinaigrette to thicken. 

Toss spinach, mint, and dill in a bowl. 

To serve, spoon the chickpea vinaigrette into the center of a platter. Set the salmon fillet on top and mound the spinach to one side. Serve with lemon wedges.

Notes/Results: Tyler comes through for me again! I love the combo of flavors in this one. There is the rich salmon with it's slightly spicy pepper and coriander crust, the cool crisp greens and herbs and the tangy, cumin-flavored dressing. Nutrition-wise, you are getting all the protein, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids from the salmon, fiber and minerals from the chick peas, vitamins A & K from the spinach. It goes together so quickly, you can make the dressing and toss the greens while the salmon cooks. I had a delicious, healthy dinner on the table in no time. I made enough salmon for a couple of extra meals and the chickpea dressing would be excellent on a salad or over veggies too. Another definite keeper for me!

Take a look at our other Tyler Florence Friday participants' recipe picks and see what they think of their choices at the TFF website here. There you will also find more info about TFF and learn how to join in on the fun and flexibility of picking what Tyler recipes YOU want to make each week.

Happy Friday!


  1. wow that looks fantastic and the fact that it is fast to put together is definitely a winner!

  2. I think this is my favourite so far! Love the crusted salmon, the fresh herbs, the chickpea dressing. And you know me, I think everything is better on a bed of baby spinach!

  3. The chickpea dressing looks to die for, and seems like it would also work with a different fish, or even chicken. Add in that it is quick to prepare, and it sounds like the perfect meal!

  4. Fast and delicious? Sounds like a winning combination - and so healthy, too, I know you are trying to make good-for-you food, and I think you are doing a terrific job!

  5. This dish really caught my attention. This is something I would love to make. It is different, healthy, and colorful...and I'm sure it's flavorful.

  6. This looks great. The fact that it was easy and fast to put together makes it one I will be making.

  7. Yay, I had this one bookmarked! I'm glad you liked it.

  8. Hi Deb, Thanks so much for your comment! Your dish looks amazing. Salmon is a new addiction of mine and so I will definitely have to be trying this soon. If you end up making the pork tenderloin let me know how it turns out.

  9. tyler hasn't let me down yet with anything i've ever tried of his. this sounds really healthy and delicious. :)

  10. This meal is so good...set another place for me!!! Salmon is my favorite fish!

  11. I could hardly tell that was Salmon! The crust looks amazing!! And the chickpea dressing puts it over the top for me!

  12. You've included some of my favourite things - what's not to love.

  13. Well I actually cooked it, the vinaigrette was good but the crust had WAY too much pepper in it and the coriander seed bits were very hard. Maybe I was using an extra spicy peppercorn, but it was nearly inedible. The fish and vinaigrette together were very good, I'd recommend either not crusting it or using a lot less and finer crust.

  14. Greg--Bummer that you didn't like it. For sure it was spicy from the black pepper but I felt the salad and dressing cooled it down and my seeds were not too hard at all. I am a black pepper fan though and usually like a little more than the norm--I think there are some people who do well with the spice from it and others who don't. You might try lesser amounts of the pepper and mix in into some panko to dilute the spiciness. Aloha.


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