Friday, August 27, 2004


I have my red-and-white-checkered Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook mainly to tell me how to make basic things like pancakes and hamburgers, should the mood ever strike, or to remind me how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, but occasionally it actually yields a good meal recipe like this one. Last night was the second time I made it, and it confirmed that besides this one (because who can argue with garlic and butter), this is my favorite way to make salmon. It sounded a bit odd to me at first, but cucumber and salmon are a match made in heaven, as sushi so deliciously demonstrates. This is an extremely easy meal—especially on the George Foreman grill—and, yes, it’s light and summery. We had it with very sweet corn on the cob.

You might want to be generous with the measurements when you make the cucumber salsa. I made only two servings of salmon instead of four, but I used the full four-person recipe for the salsa and was glad I did. Granted, we had big honking salmon fillets (I’m too lazy for steaks, with all those bones) from Trader Joe’s that were well over 8 ounces each, and I do love me some cucumbers, so maybe I was using more than the recipe intended. Anyway, I figure it’s better to have too much salsa than not enough, so consider doubling the proportions.

4 6-to-8-ounce salmon steaks, cut 1 inch thick (but I used fillets this time and they were equally good)
1 cup seeded and chopped cucumber (about 1 medium-large cucumber)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sliced green onion (1-2 green onions)
2 teaspoons snipped fresh mint (you may want to use a bit less if the mint is really fresh; I had some from the farmer’s market and it was almost overpowering)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. First make the salsa, mixing the cucumber, green onion, and mint in a small bowl with the vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle in a little salt for good measure.

2. Preheat the grill; rinse the fish, pat it dry, and sprinkle it on all sides with salt and pepper. (The original recipe doesn’t call for any salt or pepper anywhere, which is just silly, so this is my own modification.) In an even smaller bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of oil with a tablespoon of lemon juice, and brush this generously all over the fish. Grill the fish until it begins to flake, turning once and reapplying more lemon-oil mixture.

3. To finish, put the fish on plates, spoon salsa over it, and squeeze a bit of the remaining lemon over everything.

Serves: 4
Time: 20 minutes

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