If there is one thing I absolutely love it’s huckleberries. Venturing up into the mountains in late summer and spending the day picking berries under a cool canopy of green trees is calming and fulfilling. Eating the berries is the very next best thing.
I love loading the berries into pancakes, throwing them on ice cream and huckleberry pie is the ultimate desert ever. So why not combine them with salmon, another northwest famous food?
This salmon with huckleberry vinaigrette practically melts in your mouth. It is also incredibly healthy and simple to make. Tart huckleberries meld with just a touch of honey and balsamic vinegar to make an irresistibly delicious sauce.
The rich flaky fish is a perfect combination with the sweet and sour tanginess of the sauce. This huckleberry vinaigrette is not too sweet or over powering and enhances the tender juicy salmon. A real taste bud treat, it is easy to make and so healthy.
This recipe combines two foods that are almost legendary in the Pacific Northwest, salmon and huckleberries. Both of these foods are sacred to the First Nations Peoples who first inhabited this land. These foods historically comprised a large part of the Native American diet and continue in this traditional importance.
The salmon is prepared by cooking it in the oven, which is a hassle free way to prepare fish. It helps cut down on that fishy smell spreading throughout your house. You will also need a blender or a simple potato masher to make the vinaigrette.
Where to find huckleberries
The best and most fun way to get huckleberries is to pick your own. They can usually be found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and even Alaska and northern California. They are also found in some ares in Alberta and British Columbia in Canada. Huckleberries grow exclusively in rich, mid to high elevation forest zones, in shade or semi shady sites.
Just make sure that you can positively identify the huckleberry plant and berries before you go. Never eat a berry or plant unless you are certain of its identification.
If you don’t pick your own huckleberries look for them at road side stands in mid to late summer, especially at quaint little spots near the mountains. You also have a good chance of finding them at farmer’s markets. Speciality produce stores that specialize in local or unusual produce may also have huckleberries in season.
Huckleberries can also be frozen to use later. Just defrost the berries then you are ready to make your sauce.
If you can’t find huckleberries try substituting blackberries or raspberries instead.
To make this easy and delicious salmon start by preheating your oven to 375°. Cover you baking pan with parchment paper or tinfoil. This also makes clean up so easy! Place the salmon filets on the pan.
Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Then bake for about 15 minutes until fish is light pink and cooked completely through. If you like your salmon less done, cook 10-12 minutes.
While salmon is cooking, place the huckleberries, vinegar, honey and salt in a blender. Blend on high for about a minute or until everything is combined together.
Drizzle the huckleberry sauce over the salmon and serve with more sauce on the side.
Salmon with Huckleberry Vinaigrette
- 4 salmon filets
For the Sauce
- ½ cup Huckleberries
- 1 Tb. Balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tb Honey
- ⅛ teaspoon Salt
- Preheat oven to 375º. Cover baking pan with parchment paper or tinfoil. Place the filets salmon on pan.
- Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.
- Then bake for about 15 minutes until fish is light pink and cooked completely through. If you like your salmon less done, cook 10-12 minutes.
- While salmon is cooking place the huckleberries, vinegar, honey and salt in a blender. Blend on high for about a minute or until everything is combined together.
- Drizzle the huckleberry sauce over the salmon and serve with more sauce on the side.
You could also drizzle this vinaigrette over a bed of fresh greens for a delicious huckleberry salad. Baked chicken is fantastic smothered in this sauce as well.
If you prefer a chunky sauce or don’t have a blender, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small sauce pan and warm over medium heat. Smash the berries with a potato masher until all the berries are smashed and the ingredients are well mixed.
If you don’t have huckleberries you can use blackberries or raspberries. I don’t recommending substituting blueberries though because they don’t have enough acidic flavor.
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