I am a huge fan of salmon… and cauliflower rice, so putting the two together is a natural. This Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Rice is a delicious, healthy, Paleo/Whole 30 grilling menu that is so delicious it feels like cheating. And if that weren’t enough I am also going to tell you how to get those fabulous criss cross grill marks on whatever food you’re grilling!
(This post is sponsored by Frontier Co-op!)
First Things First : TIPS FOR BUYING FISH:
1. It’s best not to buy fish wrapped in plastic. You should be able to smell the fish you are buying. I always buy mine from a fishmonger I trust. If he is handling it, cutting it etc… he will know if it’s not fresh.
2. Try to buy fish the day you plan on making it.
3. When selecting fish always point to the piece you want. In stores the freshest fish is placed in the front of the window, closest to you, and the fish from the day before is placed in the back, closest to the fishmonger. So when you are looking at the fish closest to you and ask for it, he pulls it from the back. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with that fish from the day before, it’s just not the freshest…and you want the freshest!
Let’s Talk Spices:
Now that you know how to buy the freshest fish let’s talk about spices. I keep this recipe SUPER simple by seasoning the fish with nothing but Table Grind Sea Salt and black pepper from Frontier Co-cp, makers of fine spices that are non GMO and non irradiated. Frontier Co-op is committed to providing pure seasonings that taste great and promote healthy communities, as well as a healthy planet.
Frontier Co-op sources their spices from growers committed to quality, sustainability and ethical trade. And their Table Grind Sea Salt is the perfect blend of course and fine and works wonderfully with savory dishes like this salmon.
The Cauliflower “Rice”
Cauliflower rice is a great replacement for traditional white rice. You can make it yourself by placing cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulsing or simply chop cauliflower finely with a knife, that said many stores sell cauliflower rice already prepared now. If you aren’t sure, ask! I am all about making life easier as long as quality isn’t compromised. I find the store bought cauliflower rice is just as good as doing it yourself. I sauté the cauliflower rice in olive oil and add sweet shallots and zucchini, making the perfect, healthy bed for this amazing grilled salmon.
How to Get Those Criss Cross Grill Marks!
I know this fish looks picture perfect which might seem intimidating, but getting those criss cross grill marks is actually super simple. Here’s how:
- Start with grill prep. Make sure the grill is clean and either wiped down with coconut oil or sprayed with an organic grill spray.
- Make sure the grill is hot. Not only does the heat create the grill marks but it also helps prevent sticking. When the grill is really hot the meat contracts and releases juices, after a few minutes of cooking the meat literally pulls away from the grill making for easy turning. I heat my grill to around 400 degrees for 12 minutes with the lid closed to make sure it’s really hot before adding fish, meat, chicken or pork.
- To get those grill marks simply place salmon (or any meat) on a slight diagonal onto hot grill. Sear for 3-4 minutes, then turn the meat a quarter turn (don’t flip, just rotate the same side 1/4 turn) and cook until new criss-cross marks appear. Then gently usea fish spatula to turn fish over and cook the other side for a few more minutes with the lid closed. That’s it!
The Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Rice
Tips and what you need: For best results follow instructions below. Many grocery stores carry pre-made cauliflower rice, but you can also make it yourself by placing cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulsing or simply chop cauliflower finely with a good knife! You can also make this recipe in a grill pan. I like the Anolon Tri-Ply Clad 12” Deep Ground Grill Pan. Instructions below for using a grill pan. I use a fish spatula to turn fish, it has a curved edge making fish less likely to fall apart.
Grilled Salmon with Cauliflower Rice
A delicious, healthy paleo/Whole 30 meal! If you'd rather use a grill pan than an outdoor grill, I provide instructions for that too. Cause I am nice like that.
4- 6oz salmon filets (skin on or off)
3 tablespoons olive oil (give or take)
4 medium size shallots, peeled and sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced and cut in half (forming half moons)
4 Cups cauliflower rice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chives chopped, for garnish
1 lemon, quartered
I use pre-made cauliflower rice. If you are making your own allow a little more time and see instructions in blog post above.
Prepare grill:Make sure grill is clean, then wipe with coconut oil or spray with non toxic grill spray. Preheat grill to 400 degrees with lid closed for 10 minutes before adding fish. If you are using a grill pan indoors see instructions below.
While grill preheats prep fish and start cauliflower rice:
Sprinkle fish with sea salt and pepper. Set aside.
Prep shallots and zucchini. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into large pan and turn heat to medium/high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add shallots and cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add zucchini and sear for 2-3 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and if necessary add another tablespoon olive oil. Stir frequently. Cook for another 5-7 minutes.
If you have someone else to help, send them to cook fish. If not, you have to juggle. Don't worry it's not that hard.
Place fish on hot grill at a slight diagonal angle (If skin is on, place it meat side down, skin side up). Close lid and cook for 3-4 minutes or until grill marks form. While waiting, go stir the cauliflower rice. When fish has established grill marks, turn a 1/4 turn on the same side (don't flip yet, just rotate fish) and cook for 3-4 more minutes with lid closed. Now you should have criss cross grill marks. Gently turn fish over and cook for a few more minutes. How long you cook depends on how thick your cut of fish is, usually total cook time is about 10-11 minutes.
Season finished cauliflower rice with sea salt and pepper to taste. Place on platter, top with fish, squeeze a little lemon juice over fish and garnish with chives! Serve.
If using a grill pan indoors:
Preheat oven to 350 and place oven rack in center position.
Place oven safe grill pan on high heat. When pan is very hot add a tablespoon of butter, ghee or olive oil. When oil is hot, add salmon skin side down.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until grills marks are established.
Turn fish 1/4 turn (same side, don't flip) and cook another 2-3 minutes. Now you should have criss cross grill marks.
Gently turn fish over (using a fish spatula helps delicate fish to not fall apart) Sear for one minute then place grill pan in oven for 8-10 minutes depending on how thick fish is.
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