Grilled Salmon with Pineapple Salsa and Spinach Quinoa Salad

For those of you who have been following me on social media, you may know I recently returned from a week-long trip to Big Island, Hawaii. We had a blast and food was absolutely incredible. The fresh fruits, vegetables, local-caught fish and marriage of cultural dishes from both the South Pacific and Asia were so delicious it was hard to leave. I have so much respect for Hawaiian cuisine and it’s focus on sustainability from the land and sea around them – and there were so many plant-forward dishes too!

Inspired, I created this dish. Given poor access to the Pacific fish I tried (mahi mahi, ahi, and ono), I settled for Atlantic wild-caught salmon which is available easily here in Boston. This dish, however, could be made with any flaky fish (cod, Arctic char, tilapia, etc). Paired with pineapple salsa and a citrus spinach salad, this dinner was fresh, simple and my kids gobbled up which is always a win for me.

Serves 4 | Gluten-free, kid-friendly | Less than 60 minutes

  • For the fish
  • 1 1/3 pounds fresh caught Atlantic salmon
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • For the spinach quinoa salad
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1/8 red onion sliced thin
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • The juice and zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • For the Pineapple Salsa
  • 1/3 pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/8 red onion, diced
  • The juice of half a lime
  • Black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • Cilantro
  • Optional toppings
  • Cilantro
  • Micro greens
  • Sliced scallion

Start by making the fish marinade. Combine all the marinade ingredients in the bowl you will be marinading the fish in (if cooking in the oven, use an oven-safe dish – I use a shallow rectangular glass dish). Whisk to combine. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Place skin side down to coat briefly, then flip and set aside for 20-30 minutes.

Next, make the salad. If you haven’t made the quinoa, combine 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer until moisture absorbed, about 10-12 minutes. Place the sliced onions in a bowl of water (this reduces the sharp oniony taste) and set aside. Mix the oil, tamari, honey, vinegar, lime juice, salt and a few cracks of black pepper to a bowl and whisk. Place the spinach, quinoa, red pepper and onions in a large bowl, mix in most of the dressing reserving about 1 tbsp. Toss to combine and set aside.

To make the salsa, place the pineapple, red pepper, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, sea salt and a few cracks of black pepper to a small bowl and toss to combine.

Turn your propane grill on high heat or set your oven to 450 degrees F. (Note – wait until your grill top is REALLY hot before placing the fish on to help reduce sticking. You can also spread a little oil on the grill). Toss some marinade on top of the skin-side of the fish and place skin-side down on the grill and cover. (If using the oven, place fish directly in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes, no need to flip). Cook for about 4-5 minutes, the carefully flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes then remove. Fish is done when slightly firm (feels like tip of your nose).

Serve a piece of fish with salsa on top and the salad on the side. (Note – I had extra pineapple and placed some on the grill for a few minutes per side to serve with the fish!)

For the kids – I mix some plain quinoa with soy sauce and serve with a small piece of fish, pineapple, and plain spinach.

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