Light, Flavorful Meals to Beat Summer Heat

Posted

(Family Features) Hot days enjoying the summer sun are often best paired with meals that won’t drag you down, meaning lighter fare should be on your family’s menu. Skip the heavy recipes that leave you feeling uncomfortable and instead put a flaky, delicious option like wild salmon at the center of your plate.

Fresh, wild-caught California king salmon is available through mid-October, making it a perfect choice for satisfying warm weather dishes. Featuring tender, flaky meat with a rich, buttery flavor ideal for grilling, king salmon is also heart-healthy and packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

The fishery is managed responsibly to ensure there is never overfishing so you can feel good about the local, melt-in-your-mouth salmon. Plus, a portion of the commercial license fees are used to support habitat restoration projects, meaning money goes back to the fishery each time you enjoy it.

If it’s simply too hot to cook outdoors, Pan Seared Salmon with Cucumbers and Creme Fraiche offers a reprieve from the heat by putting your stovetop to work. Mix fresh cucumbers, red onion, dill and creme fraiche for a cool, creamy side then sear salmon seasoned with salt and pepper for a savory summer dish.

When you’re ready to head outside and fire up the grill, Cedar Plank Salmon with Miso Soy Glaze combines light, flaky salmon with a sweet homemade sauce to highlight the flavors of the season. Plus, it’s served right off cured cedar planks for an added touch.  

Visit CalKingSalmon.org to find more recipes fit for light summer meals.

Pan Seared Salmon with Cucumbers and Creme Fraiche

Recipe courtesy of chef Laura Kenny, Real Food Catering, on behalf of the California Salmon Council
Servings: 4

Cucumbers and Creme Fraiche:

  • 4          cucumbers, sliced 1/8-inch thick (about 4 cups)
  • 1          small red onion, diced
  • 2          tablespoons sea salt
  • 2          tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon dill, chopped
  • 1/4       cup creme fraiche

Pan Seared Salmon:

  • 1 1/2    pounds salmon fillet
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3          tablespoons grapeseed oil
  1. To make cucumbers and creme fraiche: In medium plastic container or flat-bottomed bowl, place cucumbers in single layer then sprinkle in some red onion and some salt. Repeat 4-5 times until all cucumbers and onions are layered. Cover and refrigerate 2-8 hours. Drain water from cucumbers and onions by pressing firmly (do not rinse). Add vinegar and toss to combine.
  2. Just before serving, stir in dill and creme fraiche.
  3. To make pan seared salmon: Debone and cut salmon into four pieces; season lightly with salt and pepper, to taste. In large saute pan, heat grapeseed oil and sear salmon. When slightly golden-brown, flip salmon and cook just long enough to sear other side. Remove from pan and place on platter with cucumbers and creme fraiche.

Cedar Plank Salmon with Miso Soy Glaze

Recipe courtesy of chef Laura Kenny, Real Food Catering, on behalf of the California Salmon Council
Servings: 2

  • 2          cedar planks
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 1          tablespoon white miso
  • 1          tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1          garlic clove, minced
  • 1          pound salmon fillet, skin on, cut into two pieces
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. To prepare cedar planks: Soak planks in water 1 hour. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Wash, oil and bake planks about 10 minutes to cure.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high heat for indirect grilling.
  4. In small bowl, mix honey, miso, rice vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. Cut salmon to fit planks. Season salmon with salt and pepper, to taste; spread miso mixture on flesh side. Let stand at room temperature 10-15 minutes.
  5. Lay salmon on planks skin side down. Place planks on grill adjacent to heat source and close lid. Cook 15-25 minutes, depending on thickness, until internal temperature reaches 125-135 F. Transfer salmon and planks to platter and serve.