This is one of the recipes I made weekly during the Alaska charter season. Generally, the first night underway was “Salmon night.” Folks coming to cruise with us for a week expect wild Alaskan King Salmon, so even if they were fishing, I’d start out the trip this way in case we didn’t catch any the rest of the week.
Being in Alaska, I tried to serve as much food that represented what was local as possible. Wild blueberries are an amazing foraging crop, and their tiny pearls bursting with blueberry flavor are an ideal go-with to a perfectly grilled salmon filet.
Now, truth be told, the Alaska wild blueberry season is dreadfully short, and, unlike domesticated blueberries, they take a while to pick. Even if a bush is full of ripe berries, they aren’t nearly as plentiful or big as you’d find in a farmed bush. And, then there’s the bears…bears love berries, too, so you’d hear me calling “Here bear…coming to pick your berries, bear” as I approached the area where my favorite bushes were. If I was lucky, a 30 minute pick would net me about 2 cups. Hardly enough to keep a boatload of 10 passengers full. So, of course, I’d resort to using store bought domestic berries in my recipe.
But, I’ll tell you what…each week we were at Warm Springs I’d run the skiff out to the dock, hike up the boardwalk and go visit my favorite hunting ground. I had to be quick…guests weren’t up yet, but I didn’t have a lot of time before I had to get back to the boat. Coffee cup in hand, gathering bucket around my neck, I’d pick as fast as I could. Getting back to the boat, I’d freeze my small haul quickly and store them up.
After four weeks, I had enough berries to make a batch of wild blueberry jam!
But, I digress. Please enjoy this outrageous salsa to accompany your salmon. There’s nothing like wild caught Alaskan King, so try to get that whenever possible.
Grilled Salmon with Blueberry Salsa
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, minced
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup white raisins
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/4 tsp lime zest
- 1 tsp jalapenos, minced or more to taste
- Combine all salsa ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for an hour before serving.
- Grill your salmon over medium-hot coals after oiling the grates. Season salmon with salt and pepper before placing on the grill or in a grill pan skin side up. After 3-5 minutes, flip salmon and cook until desired doneness is reached. Ideally, the fish is just barely cooked through.
- Serve salmon immediately, with salsa on the side.