once upon a chef

Grilled Salmon with Creamy Cucumber-Dill Salad

Summer cooking is all about keeping it simple. No fussy sauces or heating up the kitchen, just good food made from fresh ingredients. This simply grilled salmon with a tangy and refreshing cucumber salad over top is just that.


          FOR THE SALMON – 4 (6-oz) salmon fillets, skin on – 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil – kosher salt – freshly ground black pepper


FOR THE CUCUMBER-DILL SALAD – 1 English cucumber (also called hothouse cucumber) – ⅓ cup finely sliced red onion, from one small red onion – ½ teaspoon salt – ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream – 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's or Duke's – 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar – ¼ cup chopped fresh dill – 1 clove garlic, minced – ½ teaspoon sugar – freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Step #1

Begin by making the cucumber-dill salad. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then scrape out the seeds and watery center using a teaspoon. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and place in a colander with the red onions. Toss with the salt and let drain in the sink for at least 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step or your salad will be very watery.

Step #2

Meanwhile, make the dressing by combining the sour cream, mayo, white wine vinegar, garlic, dill, sugar and black pepper.

Step #3

Whisk to combine.

Step #4

Combine the dressing with the drained cucumbers and red onions and chill until ready to eat.

Step #5

For the salmon, preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and pepper.

Step #6

Be sure the grates on the grill are clean and well-oiled. Grill the fish 4-5 minutes on the first side and 2-3 minutes on the next. The trick is to let the fish sear on the first side until nice and brown, which enables it to release easily. Resist the urge to peek or flip before it’s ready!

Step #7

Let the salmon fillets cool slightly then serve with the cold cucumber-dill salad piled over top or alongside.  A warm baguette is the perfect accompaniment. Note: The Cucumber-Dill Salad is also wonderful on its own so you may want to double the recipe so you’ll have enough for leftovers. Enjoy!