Zesty Salmon with OPA Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing Topping and Italian Kale Side Salad

Enjoying the succulent flavor of salmon comes naturally to those of us who live here, on the river. It is a delight to watch the eagles, osprey and sea lions feast on the rich bounty that the river provides right from my deck. The herons, kingfishers, otters and other wildlife usually eat smaller fish that live in abundance here. Fishing comes as naturally as breathing here – we depend on the fish for our sustenance and, for many, livelihood.

Blue Herons Co-Exist with Houseboats on Lake River Blue Herons Co-Exist with Houseboats on Lake River and are Excellent Fishers

 

I’ve lived in a houseboat on a wildlife refuge for 4 years now; the beauty and tranquility offered by the river and surrounding environment still intrigues and thrills me. I live on a small tributary off of the mighty Columbia River near Portland, Oregon. Lake River is located on the edge of a 5,000 acre wildlife refuge.

Houseboat Marina Lake River Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Houseboat Marina Lake River Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

 

The Columbia River is world-renowned salmon fishing territory; the 2013 fall season is expected to bring in up to 200,000 fish or an estimated 2.5 million pounds of salmon. The fresh catch of salmon, steelhead and Coho is sold to fish wholesalers and can be found in stores and restaurants around the Northwest and beyond. The local fisheries are predicting record sales of fall Chinook and Coho. Many of the salmon returning to the river are the direct result of tribal restoration efforts, joint state and tribal programs and several tribal and federal partnerships that are increasing the abundance of salmon in upriver areas. (Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission)

Columbia River Chinook Salmon Columbia River Chinook Salmon

 

With the abundance of salmon in the area, I’m always on the lookout for new salmon recipes. After all, one can only eat so many salmon dishes with brown sugar or mustard glaze.

Ingredients for Zesty Salmon and Kale Salad Ingredients for Zesty Salmon and Kale Salad

 

While on my quest for a salmon recipe with new culinary flavors, I couldn’t stop thinking about the new Litehouse OPA Greek Blue Cheese dressing in my refrigerator. The OPA Greek Salad Dressing is a spoonable dressing, which tantalizes my sense of culinary imagination. And it’s only 60 calories per serving – so little for such a rich, luscious consistency! So I decided to get creative and come up with a recipe that uses the delicious, creamy Greek yogurt blue cheese dressing as a topping for a spicy, Italian-flavored recipe.

Spiced Salmon Filets Spiced Salmon Filets

 

I paired a fresh, green kale salad lightly tossed with lemon and olive oil with a zappy, paprika and cayenne crusted browned salmon filet. I used Litehouse Italian seasoning in the salad and the salmon dish, which helped the flavors blend perfectly. I added wild rice to the menu; pasta would be a good side dish as well.

Zesty Salmon and Kale Salad Ready to Eat Zesty Salmon with OPA Greek Yogurt Dressing and Kale Salad Ready to Eat

 

I hope you enjoy this new take on a piquant salmon dish that uses the OPA Greek salad dressing to cool the palate in a creamy, pleasing way.  Enjoy!

Zesty Salmon with OPA Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing Topping and Italian Kale Side Salad

Serves 4 | Finish in 30 minutes
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Italian seasoning, paprika and cayenne blended into a rub gives salmon a unique, spicy flavor that is cooled to the palate by the rich, creamy OPA Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing served as a topping. The side kale salad pairs perfectly with the piquant fish dish.

Ingredients

Salmon, 1 ½ tablespoons Litehouse Italian Seasoning, 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper, 2 tablespoons paprika, ½ tablespoon sea salt, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for frying, 4 (6 ounce) portions skinless and boneless salmon filets Topping, Litehouse OPA Greek Blue Cheese Dressing Italian Kale Salad, 6 leaves kale, Freshly squeezed juice from one lemon (2 teaspoons), ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 chopped tomato, 1 ½ tablespoon pine nuts, 1 ½ tablespoons Litehouse Italian Herb Blend, Dash ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Salmon: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. In a small bowl mix the Litehouse Italian Herb Blend, black pepper, paprika, salt and cayenne. 3. Season each salmon filet with the rub mixture. 4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted, add the fish and cook about 2 minutes per side, until the fish is nicely browned. 5. Transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes. 6. Serve Litehouse OPA! Greek Blue Cheese dressing for the topping. Italian Kale Salad 1. Fold 2 kale leaves lengthwise and roll tightly. Slice crosswise into thin strips. Repeat with remaining 4 leaves in groups of 2. Chop the kale strips to make sure they aren’t too long and put them in a medium-sized bowl. 2. Add the lemon juice, oil and salt to the kale and toss well. Use your hands or the back of a large spoon to soften the kale while working the dressing into the kale. 3. Add the tomato and pine nuts and toss. 4. Season with Litehouse Italian Herb Blend and black pepper (if desired)


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