While some may be ready for the upcoming fall season, there are many who are still eager to throw one last summer gathering before the weather turns. Whether it be for Labor Day Weekend or just an excuse to celebrate the last few days of summer, a hot summer day gathering is never complete without a delicious meal full of fresh vegetables and healthy protein in every bite.
To start, we recommend grilling wild Alaskan salmon for your healthy protein option. Clean, natural, packed with nutrients and light on the palate, wild-caught salmon is the perfect option to fuel yourself on a hot summer day without feeling like you’ve overeaten. There’s nothing like an overly full stomach on a warm day to make you feel sluggish!
For a little crunch, color and flavor to add to your grilled salmon, we suggest utilizing local in-season vegetables to keep it healthy and fresh. With all these flavors, it’ll be difficult for your adult and kiddo guests alike to stay away from the food table. Perfect for a salmon picnic!
What Vegetables Go Well With Salmon?
When deciding what vegetables to serve with salmon, it is important to think of more than just the carb or green side dish that goes with it.
While we love a good side of wild rice, green beans or roasted brussel sprouts, these sides tend to be most popular to serve with salmon during the holiday season. When folks are looking for warm, hearty comfort food in the midst of colder weather, these should be your go-to side dishes for salmon.
However, for summertime gatherings, we find our most flavorful and popular pairings come from incorporating vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, onions and even tomatoes (we know, these are technically a fruit - but we’ll consider them a veggie for this recipe!) and turning them into a vegetable salad.
Here at Kurian Fisheries headquarters in Pennsylvania, we like to serve our salmon with one of our top-producing crops in the state - corn!
Bursting with color and a pop of texture in every bite, corn is the perfect addition to a nicely grilled salmon fillet. Mix it with tomatoes and basil and you’ve suddenly created a vegetable salad complement that’s hard to beat. Plus - who doesn’t love shucking corn on the cob?!
A New Take on Salmon Salad Recipes
One of our favorite parts about cooking with wild salmon is that it is actually much more versatile than many realize. Yes, baking salmon with a light seasoning and pairing it with a green salad is a classically easy way to enjoy a portion of your favorite fish. But, have you ever tried topping your salmon with a salad?
Enter our previously mentioned vegetable salad recipe. In a sense, think of it as an easy side dish simply popped on top of your salmon.
This particular style salad skips the clunky bites of leafy greens and instead brings the fresh, crisp flavors of corn and tomatoes straight onto the salmon itself. A great way to avoid leftover, wilted and soggy greens from all of those salmon juices during plate clean up!
Combined with the sweet and savory flavors of basil, lemon and citrus, this veggie salmon salad is one your tastebuds will not forget. Plus, it’s a deliciously healthy option that can be cut up into as many bite sized pieces as you have guests around the picnic table!
Continue on to hear more from Chef Marisa about this recipe below.
This grilled salmon fillet is the perfect main dish to serve at your end-of-summer backyard parties, and is packed with the flavors of summer. Sweet corn is grilled and mixed with ripe tomatoes and savory basil and tossed with a sweet and citrusy lemon dressing to create a salad that pairs perfectly with the smoky grilled salmon. Some of the dressing is reserved to be used as a glaze for the salmon as it cooks.
Serve this dish along with a green garden salad and grilled potatoes or a bowl of potato chips for a satisfying light summer meal. The recipe is easily doubled if you are serving a larger group of people.
Wild for Salmon sockeye salmon fillets are perfect for this recipe because they come boneless with the skin on and ready for the grill. If you have sockeye portions, those can be used as well, just keep in mind that cooking time will be reduced slightly. If you are making this recipe with portions, make several foil packets for the grill because it will be easier to maneuver the multiple pieces of fish.
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Marisa Kerkvliet of Lemon Thyme Kitchen is a freelance recipe developer and food photographer with a Master’s degree in Nutrition. She was raised on her family’s farm in Northwest Washington and her appreciation for good food developed at a very early age. She is passionate about creating recipes and beautiful imagery that highlight high-quality seasonal ingredients. Marisa loves all types of seafood, but her favorites are salmon and scallops!