This paleo Seared Salmon with Fresh Cherry and Charred Poblano Chopped Salad makes perfect use of sweet, in-season cherries for a fresh new way to dress up dinner.
When I don’t feel like cooking but I still want to eat clean, salmon is what usually comes to my weeknight dinnertime rescue. It cooks up in a matter of minutes on the stovetop, and is a great base flavor just waiting to be dressed up any number of ways.
You can go Greek with tzatziki sauce or take it Thai with a quick curry sauce, and a simple hash is always a perfect pairing. Here I kept it light and super fresh with a sweet cherry and charred poblano pepper salad.
Now, if spicy heat isn’t your thing and you’re wondering about these peppers, don’t fret because they’re very much on the milder side of the Scoville scale! You can sub a green bell pepper (or any kind of pepper you like, really) if you prefer though. Whatever peppers you use, don't forget to char them though; it adds great flavor to the dish.
This meal is hearty enough to be filling, but still light enough to be perfect for a hot summer evening when you don’t want something too heavy weighing you down. I think this makes a gorgeous summer meal as-is, but it would also be great served up with some kind of grain pilaf; or to keep it paleo and Whole30-friendly, whip up a quick cauliflower rice (the flavors going on in my Smoky Roasted Garlic Cauliflower “Rice” with Toasted Almonds would pair really well with this!).
Want to see the stovetop salmon cooking method in action? Check out this video from Cooking Light.
- 1 medium poblano pepper, halved and de-seeded
- 1 slightly heaping cup fresh sweet cherries, de-stemmed, pitted, and halved
- ½ medium red onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1 pinch salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 (4 to 6 oz/115 to 170 g each) salmon fillets
- About 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or whatever oil you like to use for pan-searing)
- 1 pinch salt and black pepper
- For the salad, preheat the broiler and place the pepper halves (skin side up) on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until the skin is charred (do not add oil!), about 5 to 8 minutes (no need to flip because we’re just charring the skin). Use thongs to immediately transfer the pepper to a bowl, cover the bowl, and let the peppers steam until you can easily remove the skin (about 10 minutes). Remove the skin and chop the pepper. (Don’t run the peppers under running water because that’ll get rid of their lovely charred flavor.) Stir together the charred poblano, cherries, onion, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, salt, and pepper (wait to stir in the cilantro until right before serving).
- For the salmon, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; once hot, add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Let the oil heat up for a few seconds, and meanwhile, season the salmon on both sides with salt and black pepper. Place the salmon into the hot skillet and cover it (so the oil doesn’t splatter everywhere), leaving the lid ajar. Cook 2 to 4 minutes on the first side, then flip the salmon and cook 2 to 4 minutes more. Turn the heat off, fully cover the skillet, and let the salmon sit for 2 minutes so the steam can finish cooking it through. (It should be opaque and flake easily with a fork when it’s fully cooked.)
- Serve the salmon with the salad on top.