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Grilled Salmon with Orzo Salad

More than one tradition is at work here. Dill and cucumber, mated in several cuisines, unite in a Greek-inspired salad, while salmon and dill are a typical Scandinavian pairing.

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound orzo (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillet, about 1 inch thick, cut into 4 pieces
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon


  1. In a strainer set over a medium bowl, toss the cucumber, tomatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and let drain for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orzo until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Toss the orzo with the 1/3 cup oil, the lemon juice, the 1/3 cup dill, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Light the grill. Coat the salmon with the 1 tablespoon oil, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill the salmon, skin-side up, for 4 minutes. Turn and sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon dill and the lemon zest. Cook the fish until golden brown and just barely done (the fish should still be translucent in the center), about 3 minutes longer. Serve the fish on the salad.

Suggested Pairing

A good Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé will make the fresh, bright flavors of this pasta salad sing.

Photo © Elizabeth Drago, Food Stylist Vivian Lui Published July 2013

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