Spread this deliciously creamy nonfat yogurt dill sauce over grilled or seared salmon. Serve it all with an easy, fresh cucumber feta salad for the ultimate healthy spring or summer meal!
You know when you make a meal you’re sure you’ll start making all the time? Something easy enough that it doesn’t require you to buy a million ingredients, but also flavorful and impressive enough that you’d be happy to serve it to friends? That’s my favorite. Does it happen all the time? Ehh no. But when it does, I have to share it with you.
Salmon always feels special to me because it’s rich, it’s silky…but buying it wild means paying an arm, a leg, a month’s rent, and one week’s vacation. Every time I pick out a gorgeous piece of wild salmon at the seafood counter, I ask myself, “Should I get insurance on this?” You can’t risk bad recipes on that fish. That’s why this one’s a keeper all around — side dish included. For 350 calories, you’re completely satisfied, friends. Trust me.
Even when I’m making “plain” salmon that I’ll add a sauce to later, I like to quickly marinate it with lemon juice, a few splashes of olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and pepper — just to add some subtle flavor. One tip: never let fish marinate in something acidic for more than 30 minutes (45 minutes max), or the fish will begin to “cook” and become mushy when grilled, seared, or baked. You’ll see that the outside of the fish turns opaque fairly quickly if left too long. This is how citrus juice “cooks” fresh fish in a dish like ceviche.
The dill sauce is a simple stir of nonfat greek yogurt, fresh dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. (I use garlic powder here rather than raw garlic because it blends better into a sauce).
It’s not quite the same flavor or richness as you might find in restaurant dill sauces that are made with mayo or sour cream, but it’s so light and bright you won’t miss the other high-calorie versions. It’s got a bit of a tang, and using nonfat greek yogurt like I did will give you even more of that tangy flavor, but I love how it pairs with the natural richness of the fish. If you’re not much of a yogurt fan, consider swapping in some or all low-fat sour cream.
Cucumber feta salad is my obsession. I considered creating a whole post just for this one side dish — that’s how lovable it is. And it’s such a simple thing, really. The key is to slice the cucumber and red onion paper-thin, then liberally, pepper, and toss with fresh lemon juice and a splash of olive oil. Add a good handful of feta and toss again. I have a feeling you could leave the oil out altogether and the salad would still have that salty, tart, fresh flavor, but it’s your call. Let the salad sit for a bit and the salt and lemon will help to slightly soften the veggies. You’ll love it!
Salmon with Yogurt Dill Sauce and Cucumber Feta Salad
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon cut into 4 6-ounce filets (I like wild salmon, but use what you like)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 lemons
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup nonfat greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill or ¾ teaspoon dried dill
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder optional
- 2 large cucumbers sliced extra thin
- ½ large red onion sliced extra thin into rings
- 2 ounces feta cheese about ½ cup
- Place the salmon in a baking dish, sprinkle with the fresh garlic, season liberally with salt and pepper, squeeze the juice of half of one lemon over the top, and drizzle evenly with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Cover the baking dish and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 15 minutes.
- For the dill sauce, in a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, juice of half of a lemon (1 tablespoon), the dill, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside to let the flavors blend. If you’re waiting longer than 15 minutes before using, cover and refrigerate.
- For the cucumber feta salad, in a large bowl, combine the cucumber, onion, and feta. In a small bowl, whisk the juice of the remaining lemon (about 2 tablespoons), the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the cucumber salad and toss to combine.
- Remove the salmon from the refrigerator. Spray a large nonstick pan with an oil mister and heat the pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the salmon skin-side-down and cook, without moving, until the sides are cooked halfway up the filets, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until the sides are fully cooked and the fish feels firm to the touch, about 4 minutes.
*Life Update: I realize some of you might not be on Instagram, or follow me there, but I wrote a short post about Daniel :)