Is salmon one of those dishes that you love to order in a restaurant but refuse to make at home because: “It is expensive and I don’t want to risk ruining it by over- or under-cooking it.”? I get it. And I’ve gotten over it. You can too. You just need a really reliable, flavorful recipe … or two!
What I love about this recipe is the use of greek yogurt to add flavor to, and preserve the moisture of, the salmon. It is spread on the outside of the fillet which helps to protect it from drying out while cooking. Add some lemon juice, fresh herbs and garlic to the yogurt and you have all that is needed for a successful dish.
If you’ve never tried couscous, it is time. There are different types of couscous with very different cooking methods, tastes and textures. This recipe is using an Israeli, or Pearl, couscous. It cooks quickly and is not as temperamental as rice. After you have made it once, you will quickly see how versatile it is and find ways to adjust the recipe for any season or any ingredients you have on hand.
As you can see, this fillet was cooked on a grill. It is a little tricky to grill skinless salmon for fear of it falling apart. If you are concerned about it, lay a piece of aluminum foil on the grill and drizzle a little olive oil on the foil before placing the fillet on top. The pretty grill marks will be lost but the salmon won’t fall apart and through the grate … which is worth the sacrifice!
Not grilling season? It will turn out just as good if made with the oven method.
Be brave … for the price that you would pay for a good salmon dinner, you can have an entire fillet for your family and maybe, just maybe, some leftovers for a salad/sandwich!
Lemon-Yogurt Salmon with Veggie Couscous
Prevent overcooking salmon with a thin layer of this recipe's greek yogurt and lemon sauce. Couscous with white wine and vegetables provide the perfect (and pretty) pairing.
Preheat oven or grill to 400°.
Combine greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of the fresh herbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a small bowl.
Sprinkle salmon with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and spread a light layer of the yogurt sauce on both sides of the salmon.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add vegetables, onion and garlic to skillet. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. If using peas, they can be added half-way through the cooking time to avoid overcooking.
Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and wine to pan. Stir and cook for one minute. Add cooked couscous to vegetables and toss to combine. Remove from heat and partially cover to keep warm until the salmon is cooked.
STOVE TOP/OVEN METHOD:
Heat an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Place salmon in skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Flip salmon over and transfer skillet to oven. Cook for 5 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when pierced with a fork.
Rub grill grates with olive oil and place salmon on grill. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip salmon over with a large spatula and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily when pierced with a fork.
Serve salmon on the couscous, sprinkled with remaining fresh herbs and slices of fresh lemon.
SALMON TIPS: You can buy 4 6-oz salmon fillets or one big fillet for this recipe. Fillets with or without skin can be used. If you choose fillets with the skin, spread the yogurt sauce only on the skinless side of the fillet. Refer to the tips in text above about using skinless.
Want another reliable recipe but with a smoky-sweet flavor profile? Try this Smoky Maple Salmon … a wonderful mix of slightly spicy and smoky-sweet. Add some zucchini, corn and red pepper to the couscous and dinner is ready!