Strawberry season pairs well with this savory, salmon recipe

April 23, 2013

By Karista Bennett

Although I can’t seem to grow a tomato in my garden, for the past few years I’ve had strawberries popping up everywhere in my yard. I’ve been feeling just a tiny bit triumphant about my unexpected crop of strawberries. Combined with my weekly trips to the Issaquah Farmers Market and Jubilee Farms last summer, my kitchen table and countertops overflowed with the sweet red berries.

Strawberry shortcake, spinach and strawberry salad, strawberry preserves, strawberry coconut sorbet and, of course, the Bennett Crews favorite, strawberry salmon.

By Karista Bennett Savory strawberry sauce served over grilled salmon features the best of seasonal ingredients.

By Karista Bennett
Savory strawberry sauce served over grilled salmon features the best of seasonal ingredients.

Fruit has long been used to flavor savory sauces and nothing seems more well-paired than berries and salmon: a perfect celebration of spring and summer.

When the weather is pleasant, I grill the salmon. However, if I’m not so keen on donning my rain gear, pan-searing on the stovetop or roasting in the oven works beautifully.

This is a lovely spring and summer dish that highlights the beauty and bounty of the great Pacific Northwest.

Savory Strawberry Sauce served over Grilled Salmon

4 servings



  • 1 pound fresh, organic/pesticide-free strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or 1/2 teaspoon Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chili Paste
  • 1/4 cup white wine (can substitute with water and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar or lemon)
  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves (a great way to use homemade preserves!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve over grilled or roasted fresh salmon



Slice the strawberries. Transfer the strawberries to a saucepan, add the butter and heat on medium heat.

Stir in the fresh-grated ginger, chipotle chili powder or chili paste, white wine and preserves. Bring the sauce to a lively simmer and let the sauce simmer on low for about five to eight minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Take it off the heat and let it sit while you grill the fish or roast the pork. The longer it sits, the more flavor it will develop.

The sauce can be prepared one day in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Reheat the sauce gently over low heat and ladle over “hot off the grill” salmon or pork tenderloin.

I love this dish served with a salad of spring greens tossed in a simple olive oil vinaigrette topped with toasted hazelnuts and chevre. If you don’t care for goat cheese, substitute with sheep’s milk feta or a mild gorgonzola.

Options: A nice chipotle substitution is Thai Kitchen’s Asian Roasted Red Chili Paste. If you prefer savory but not spicy, omit the chili powder/chili paste and add a teaspoon or two of lemon zest.


Karista Bennett is a local chef/owner at Karista’s Kitchen and culinary instructor at PCC Natural Markets. See more recipes at



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One Response to “Strawberry season pairs well with this savory, salmon recipe”

  1. Don’t Sell Strawberries Short! They Can Do So Much More | We The Eaters on July 9th, 2013 5:49 pm

    […] But strawberries can play a lead role in many savory options as well. I’m not talking about salads (though that’s so yum) — I’m talking strawberry and leek quesadillas, or on skewers with shrimp and a side of fennel slaw or even salmon with a luscious savory strawberry sauce. […]

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