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Tuesday
May282013

SALMON SKEWERS WITH CUCUMBER YOGURT SAUCE

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

A bit late to the party (as I often am with these things), I'm finally reading Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things. It is a collection of some of her letters and responses as a then-anonymous advice columnist. This won't be the last you'll hear me mention it - I'm in love with how she writes. So frank and forward but not the least bit insensitive. Hugh refers to it as a self-help book because he sees me passionately underlining particular lines. It is not a self-help book, but somehow you feel empowered and encouraged after some of the entries, which I suppose is helping oneself. There is this one entry where she is responding to a young, struggling writer. She talks about overriding limitiations by simply producing. You must continue to work. "You will feel insecure... How much power you give those feelings is entirely up to you." I am not at home pecking away at the next great work of fiction, but giving power to feelings of insecurity, is something anyone who does anything even the least bit challenging can relate to. I think what I love about these stories, is even though none of them are mine, they make me think. My other favorite, "There is no why. You don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding." Seriously! So good. Between not giving power to insecurity and playing your own cards, I'm repeating these lines to every friend I've been talking to lately about troubleshooting life. We're all hurting and struggling and experiencing joy and intimacy and tenderness in the scope of our days - sharing our stories makes the whole of it pretty incredible. 

So this salmon. That deep, rich, ruby color is Copper River Sockeye. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is considered one of your "best choices" as far as sustainable fish from the Marine Stewardship Council. It actually has a season which runs late spring through summer, depending on the species in particular. I've been holding onto a few salmon recipes waiting for the good stuff. I'm intrigued to try slow roasting a large filet for a dinner party and would like to do some blackened in a taco. It's rich as far as fish goes, and I know salmon isn't for everyone, but if you can get your hands on some fresh stuff this time of year, you may be persuaded. I put some chunks on a skewer and drenched it in a cool cucumber sauce. Next time I think I'll add more veggies, maybe some onion and bell pepper, to stretch them even further. I know there are only a couple salmon recipes in the archives here, so I hope this adds an idea to your healthy/easy week night dinner repetoire.

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

SALMON SKEWERS WITH CUCUMBER YOGURT SAUCE // Serves 4

I served these with a bit of quinoa that I mixed with a splash of oil, vinegar, a few chopped scallions and a basic green salad. Didn't feel a recipe was needed for those. Some rice would be nice, or even some warm toasty pita. For the sake of time, I put these under the broiler. They would be excellent on the grill, but I would just suggest using one of those top grates and oil it well as fish seems to stick to the BBQ annoyingly easily. 

I am still getting Meyer lemons from my mom's tree. If you can find them, use them here. The pith is much more pleasant to eat and they are sweeter in general. Add more vegetables or change them up according to your taste. 

  • 8 skewers
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Wild Alaskan Salmon, skinned and deboned
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 lemons, sliced very thin and seeded 
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 
  • // yogurt sauce //
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 of a large english cucumber, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup full fat greek yogurt

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

Preheat your grill or broiler. Soak the skewers in water if using wooden/bamboo ones. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. 

Cut the salmon into 2'' chunks, you want them similar in size to cook evenly. Slice the zucchini into thin coins. Layer your skewers with a piece of salmon, a slice of lemon (folded in half), and a chunk of zucchini. Repeat three times, depending on the size of your skewers, and lay them on the baking sheet. Repeat the process with remaining ingredients. 

In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice, maple, salt, paprika, Italian herbs and red pepper flakes. Give it a little mix and brush the oil mixture liberally onto all sides of the skewered goodies. Move a rack to the upper third of the oven and broil the skewers on the sheet for about 8 minutes until the edges just begin to brown and the salmon feels barely firm. Salmon is best under opposed to overdone, so keep an eye. 

To prepare the sauce, whirl the garlic in a food processor. Add the salt, pepper, cucumber, zest and give it a few pulses to chop. Add the dill, mint and yogurt and give a few more pulses to combine. The texture should be a bit chunky. Transfer to a small bowl and serve along with the skewers and grain of choice. 

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

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Reader Comments (59)

Yum!

June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarina

Delicious + delectable. Love the photographs

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthecitygourmand

That looks absolutely delicious and so summery!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTove

Such great words, love the idea of playing the hell of the cards you've been dealt. It's so easy to forget to do that in between all the angst and wishing that you might be someone different. Thank you for sharing and for sharing this beautiful recipe.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

I love salmon and this looks perfect for summer. Light, refreshing and easy.

looks so nice. dill + yoghurt is so good :)

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNuno

this looks AMAZINGLY delicious, I'll definitely try this very soon! thanks for sharing.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommentertRiSh

Perfect summer meal. Hooray for salmon season!

I'm cooking wild salmon tonight. I had planned to simply BBQ them with a little oil and lemon but now I'll definitely be making skewers! Isn't wild salmon the most gorgeous colour?

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf

This looks amazing and bet it would be great on the grill as well.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

This looks lovely and the skewers make for such nice presentation. I make my weeknight salmon by drizzling a honey,soy, Worcester combination over the fish and putting it under the broiler for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. It's fast, tasty and my kids gobble it up.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGiulia

This looks delish and we have sooo much dill in the backyard that we don't know how to use! Thanks!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane @ Vintage Zest

Now those are some sexy salmon skewers rawt thar.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

Now those are some sexy salmon skewers rawt thar.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBev Weidner

I love Cheryl Strayed. There's something about the outlook in her advice writing, the end goal that just resonates with me. I have been thoroughly enjoying salmon now that the season has arrived, and I can't wait to try the yogurt sauce. What a wonderful combination.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShaina

I NEED to read this book. Man, those few days in Vegas were scattered with insecurities and coming home I'm still feeling the weight of them. It's hard to write through those voices and to not succumb to their words. So much about creating something is battling the demons that want nothing other than to stop you from creating. Also, we're salmon twins. I'm not usually a fan of the fish but it's nutriousness and abundance around here have me thinking otherwise. I LOVE the sound of your recipe. And the blackened version sounds amazing too.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Definitely will be picking up this book! Love the part about playing the hell out the cards you've been dealt. And that 2nd photo of the sliced lemons....amazing!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Just reading the preview of this book on Amazon has me looking forward to reading the full copy! Wow, what a way with words she has! These Meyer lemons look so juicy and perfect for grilling season!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha @ Vignette

looks amazing! i have been searching for a good salmon recipe that I actually want to make :) thank you!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTina

I am definitely cooking this over the weekend, it looks soooooo good! I can't wait for the blackened salmon tacos recipe!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

once again these photos are so beautiful.
the one of the sliced lemons is practically making me teary!
sprouted kitchen rocks!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertina

well, i'm very late to the party and i only just started reading your blog and visiting on a regular basis. i downloaded Tiny Beautiful Things during lunch and now i am reading snippets here & there between looking through resumes. her voice is strong, this is the kind of honesty i've been seeking and have not found much of when reading "authentic" blogs. thank you for sharing.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLan | morestomach

This is going on my "to-try" list!

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

i can't say that i am a salmon person, but your description of alaskan wild salmon sounds wonderful. the creamy cucumber sauce sounds great as well. i have been using coconut milk for a lot of dressings lately, i would be curious to use it here. thanks sara, and lovely quotes as well.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Fist bump for Cheryl. I wonder if she knows she has such a loyal following from our little food blog kinship. Hmmm.. :) Anywho, I'm making a note to self to send you fish this summer from AK. I hope you like halibut. :)

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

Really nice photography! And a nice quote, "You will feel insecure... How much power you give those feelings is entirely up to you." Thanks for sharing what you're learning.

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSalinya

The kebabs look incredible. You really brought out the natural beauty of food.

These look absolutely delicious!!! What an elegant, easy presentation as well... just beautiful!

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShelby

These look absolutely delicious!!! What an elegant, easy presentation as well... just beautiful!

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShelby

magnificent, sara. the strayed quotes, as much as the salmon. i've not yet read the book, either, but mean to. thank you for the teaser.

and salmon + cucumber and yogurt is a long-time favorite around here, but usually poached. love the look (and can imagine the flavor) of the salmon kissed by scorch, and intermingled with veg. i

wonder whether i could convince asparagus to submit to a skewer. maybe the very thick ones...

happy summer to you,

molly

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermolly

I'm a bit late to the party, too - I haven't read this one. Going to look for it immediately. 'You don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding.' I love it.

And salmon! The only fish I like. Thanks for another great recipe. xo

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Great post! Have added the book to my wish list and the recipe to the summer line up. Just bought the first of the Wild Spring up here in Calgary last week and it's incredible. It's so hard going all winter without it! Can't wait to try the skewers. These are the kind of recipes/photos that make me wonder why more people don't eat real food. It's so beautiful and tasty! :)
Thanks Sara, Lindsay

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay Frélot

I need this book in my life right now, thank you for sharing (I guess I'm late to the party too :).

June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeanine

Made these, they were excellent! thank you so very much :)

June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTina

Yum! Looks delicious. And always love to read about your sweet heart here!

June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMillie

Gorgeous! I'm going to try with agave instead of maple syrup.

Thank you for the book, I read the sample and cried for hours. I'm definitely gonna buy it! Thank you for the recipie,too.

That book had been on my list for a while. Maybe I'll pick it up next.

So, this salmon. I saw the picture on Instagram and was so excited to see the recipe. You did not disappoint. Looks incredible!

What beautiful photos, and delicious looking food! Makes me feel all summery!

June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

We call this yogurt sause, caciki!

I love, love, love that book! So glad you found it and that it has touched you too. These skewers look incredible. Salmon... cucumber sauce... how can that be bad!?

June 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJade Sheldon-Burnaws

What an interesting and delightful dish! This is a very healthy version of the usual kebab or pork barbecues that I cook for my family on Sundays. Love the idea of putting in salmon and combining it with cucumber and yogurt sauce! This is definitely unique, I haven't heard or tried it before. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I consider it one of my must-try dishes this weekend. I am just so amazed with the healthy twist of this dish, so incredible!

June 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOwen Cooper

YUM!

I must try this at home :)

I love your blog and I look forward to following you!

Nicole

June 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Ok just did this recipe on the BBQ. Wow, the salmon was amazing. I had the tempature at 375-400, used indirect heat for 10 minutes or so, being careful not to overcook. Thanks for the great recipe, my family loved it :)

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichard

This salmon looks so juicy and fresh, I want to grab it and eat raw.

These look awesome!
I've been getting into salmon lately, I'll have to try these!

June 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Brass Halo

Made this recipe for a small, family dinner party. It was a big hit! I'll definitely make it again.

Cheryl Strayed is coming to speak in my town next April. Can't wait!

June 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

What a great recipe! The pictures are absolutely mouth-watering. Very eager to try this one out. Thank you for sharing.

Now this is the way food should be cooked and pictured. Yummy!!!. I absolutely love this recipe. I can't wait to try it out at the next BBQ. I know my friends will love it.

June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

This looks lovely - what a fresh summer dish.

June 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

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