This started off just as a recipe for Pineapple Salsa but Copper River Salmon is in season so I thought we’d combine the two.
Pineapple Salsa with Grilled Salmon is just about as good, vibrant, and summery as it gets.
Copper River Salmon is one of the seasonal varieties of wild caught salmon that is only in stores for a very short time each summer. It’s bright, bright red, not at all fishy smelling, and has a very sweet flavor.
If you can’t find this specific variety, I encourage you to try other wild caught salmon like sockeye or coho over the farm raised, color enhanced stuff. Yes, it costs more. Yes, it’s worth it.
Of course, the Pineapple Salsa is plenty good on its own with something as easy as chips or even on grilled chicken.
Here’s what you need:
Fresh Pineapple, Red Bell Pepper, Jalapeño Pepper, Red Onion, Limes, Cilantro, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.
If you’re pairing it with salmon or other fish (most varieties would be great with this salsa), plan on about 6 ounces of fish per person. If you want to make it exactly like I have here, you will also need a Cedar Grilling Plank. I got mine at Costco but you can find them at most grocery stores, Williams Sonoma, Amazon, etc.
Fresh pineapple is best for this salsa. Finely chop about 3/4 of a peeled, cored pineapple – about 3 cups.
Since this is salsa, it’s not so important that the amounts be super specific. If you have a little more or less of something, go for it. I knew I would use the leftover pineapple in a green smoothie but if you’re worried about it languishing in your fridge, throw it all in there.
One other note – this salsa is best eaten fresh or within 1 day. It doesn’t store all that well – unlike tomato salsa, this gets a little mushy as it ages. So you might want to grab a bag of blue corn chips (my favorite) for the extra.
Place your chopped pineapple in a bowl. Add 1 finely chopped red bell pepper and about 1/4 cup of finely chopped red onion.
Remove the seeds from 1 jalapeño, mince it, and add it to the bowl. Finely chop about ¼ cup of fresh cilantro and toss it in there as well.
Squeeze in the juice of 1-2 limes.
Drizzle in 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and season with a little salt & pepper.
Stir gently to combine. You can eat this at room temperature – it gets nice and juicy as it sits.
Look at that gorgeous salmon. I’ve seasoned it lightly with salt & pepper, drizzled with a little olive oil, and sprinkled just a little tarragon on the top. (I will skip the tarragon next time…it really didn’t add all that much.)
If you don’t have a grill, you can always bake or broil the fish. However, my favorite way to cook salmon is to grill it on a cedar plank. (Click here for my other favorite cedar plank salmon recipe.)
To cook on a cedar plank, you need to soak the plank thoroughly in water for about 30 minutes. This lets the plank steam on the grill and release its cedar aroma rather than burning.
Place the salmon right on the soaked wood…
and move it out to a hot grill. I have a gas grill so I turn the flame to medium. You don’t want the flame so high that it is burning the underside of your plank too quickly.
Also, some people reuse their planks, but I consider these to be one and done. I’d rather mine get a little more flavor from being on higher heat than try to reuse.
The plank will pop and sizzle as the fish cooks but the wood should not actively burn.
Cook your salmon about 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness. It should be firm to the touch and flake easily.
When in doubt, cut into it to be sure the middle is cooked to your level of doneness.
Cut into serving pieces and top with the salsa.
Putting funky, fresh toppings on fish is a fast and easy way to take dinner right over the top.
Start with Pineapple Salsa and then let your imagination go. You could add avocado, corn, mango, strawberries…the possibilities are endless.
Here’s the recipe: