Salmon with Strawberry-Scallion Tapenade is perfect for entertaining or easy weeknight dinners. This nutritious recipe comes together in just 20 minutes and only calls for a handful of ingredients.
Why You'll Love this Salmon with Strawberry Tapenade:
If you're looking for a new staple salmon recipe, you've come to the right place!
This recipe is brimming with bright, briny flavor, and makes delicious use of spring produce. The strawberry-scallion tapenade strikes the perfect balance of savory and sweet, and will surely become a go-to.
In addition to serving the tapenade over salmon, it's also a great bruschetta topping. Especially mixed with some goat cheese, burrata, or fresh mozzarella.
Basically you have ample options to enjoy and entertain with this recipe all spring and summer long.
- Salmon: Feel free to use wild or farm-raised here. My personal favorite is wild King salmon, which has a higher fat content than most other wild varieties. It grills beautifully, and becomes so flaky I compare it to slicing butter.
- Strawberries: The star in this tapenade, strawberries add just enough sweetness to balance the brininess of the olives. When strawberries aren't in season, feel free to use chopped tomatoes instead.
- Olives: I highly recommend Castelvetrano olives, which are less bitter and more fruity than other varieties. You can find them year-round in the canned olive section.
- Herbs: I love using a mix of cilantro and parsley in this tapenade, however you can use either or.
- Red Wine Vinegar: For a little acidity and brightness. Alternatively, you can use rice vinegar.
- Soy Sauce: It may seem like a wildcard ingredient, however soy sauce (or tamari) really amps up the umami of the tapenade.
- Green Onions: Slice both the green and whites from a bunch of green olive, which will give you more flavor variety.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.
This recipe comes together in 20 minutes, and most of it can be made ahead. The tapenade, for example, can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Here's how to make it:
Step 1: Prepare tapenade by combining the strawberries, olives, scallions, herbs, vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, and let stand at room temperature.
Step 2: Season salmon evenly with salt and pepper after patting it dry with a paper towel.
Step 3: Cook salmon either in a skillet, an indoor grill pan, or an outdoor grill.
If cooking indoors, heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the salmon fillets, skin side-down, and cook for about 3 minutes. Once the fillets start cooking up the sides, gently flip the salmon onto its flesh side. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until medium, and remove from heat.
The cooking process is essentially the same if cooking on an outdoor grill. Just use your discretion to determine when the salmon is cooked to your liking. (This will largely depend on farm raised vs. wild, and overall fat content.)
Step 4: Top salmon with strawberry tapenade and enjoy!
If using wild, I suggest King salmon, also known as Chinook. This variety has a high fat content, which makes the flesh super buttery and rich. Coho salmon is also a good choice, which will have a more delicate texture than King, but similar flavor.
If you purchase farm-raised, look for the phrase “sustainably-farmed” on the label. This is generally a more responsible and environmentally-sound way to control overfishing
This recipe is quite versatile in terms of sides. For grains/starches, I suggest serving it with white rice, pasta salad, or roasted potatoes. And as far as veggies, it's delicious alongside a crisp arugula salad.
Alternatively, you can serve this salmon as the protein on top of a big kale or romaine salad.
You can prepare the Strawberry-Scallion Tapenade up to 2 days ahead. Just store in separately than the salmon so it doesn't pick up any fishy flavor.
More Easy Salmon Recipes to Try:
Salmon with Strawberry-Scallion Tapenade
- Large skillet, indoor grill pan, or outdoor grill
- Mixing bowl
- ¾ cup diced strawberries
- ⅓ cup pitted and chopped green olives (I recommend Castelvetrano olives)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
- ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley (or a mix of both)
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. lower-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 (6-oz.) skin-on salmon fillets
- ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- In a medium bowl, combine strawberries, olives, scallions, herbs, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. of the oil, and ¼ tsp. each salt and black pepper; toss to combine. Set aside.
- Blot salmon dry with a paper towel, and season flesh evenly with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
- Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in an indoor grill pan or skillet over medium-high. Place salmon fillets, skin side-down, in pan and cook 3 minutes, or until skin starts to crisp. Gently flip salmon onto flesh side, and cook 2 to 3 more minutes, or until salmon reaches desired level of doneness.
- Transfer salmon to a serving platter and spoon tapenade overtop.