To me, this is summer on a plate.
Juicy heirloom tomatoes. Perfectly ripe avocado. Soft butter lettuce. Crispy salmon.
I’m not really sure why I associate salmon with summer, perhaps it’s because it’s light and the ultimate health food and I’m coincidently on some sort of diet at this time of year or maybe it’s because the vibrant color reminds of hot summer days. Either way, salmon is something that makes an appearance on our dinner table more time than I can count in the warmer months.
There’s nothing particularly fancy about this sandwich, after all it’s just a good quality piece of a salmon, blackened and smooshed between a bun and some of my favorite warm weather produce finds, but there’s something innately comforting, and exciting about it.
I use a traditional blackening season to add a little bit of spice to the salmon, then cook it up in a seasoned cast-iron skillet to get that perfectly crispy exterior and juicy, soft interior.
The avocado is simply mashed up with a little bit of salt, pepper and lemon juice and smothered on the base of the sandwich.
Tomatoes are dusted with salt and pepper, then layered on top of the avocado, followed by the lettuce and of course the spice salmon filet. The sandwich is perfect as is, but you could also add a little bit of lemon mayo to the top bun to give it even more flavor and creaminess (I did this, Kevin did not – we both loved it.)
You can use whatever bun you like, but I have a fondness for fancy buns, so I took a simple whole-wheat hamburger bun, brushed it with a little bit of olive oil and then sprinkled it with flaked salt, poppy seeds and granulated garlic for even more flavor. I popped it into the oven until the garlic turned a golden brown and the bun crisped up.
Serve with a little bit of pasta salad, some fresh fruit and you’ve got yourself the perfect backyard summer menu.
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 4 4-ounce salmon filets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large heirloom tomato
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- butter lettuce
- 4 toasted buns
- 4 teaspoons mayo, optional
- In a small bowl combine, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and oregano. Sprinkle on salmon filets.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet to a medium-heat. Add salmon seasoning side down. Cook until crisp and blackening, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
- Slice tomato into 4 thick slices.
- In a small bowl, combine avocado, remaining salt and lemon juice. Mash until combined. (Leave a little bit of texture.) Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread avocado on bottom of bun, top with tomato, lettuce and salmon filet.
- If desired spread a little bit of mayo on top bun.