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On the Bookshelf: Salmon with rub is easy weeknight meal from “The Pretty Dish”

On the Bookshelf: Salmon with rub is easy weeknight meal from “The Pretty Dish”


"The Pretty Dish" by Jessica Merchant (Penguin Random House)

Jessica Merchant describes herself as “seriously, passionately, inexplicably in love with food.” She writes about her adventures in the kitchen on her blog, How Sweet Eats. And now her family-friendly recipes are featured in a new cookbook, “The Pretty Dish.”

She’s also a fan of homemade beauty products, so a chapter in her new cookbook includes recipes for sugar scrubs, face masks and homemade lip balms.

However, most of the cookbook is devoted to what Merchant calls “everyday” recipes. She says her family has salmon every week, because it’s loaded with nutrition. So, she has come up with this quick way to prepare it — covered with a rub of brown sugar, spices and barbecue sauce, broiled in the oven and then topped with a mango salsa.

Blackened Barbecue Salmon with Mango Salsa

  • For the mango salsa:
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons silver tequila
  • For the barbecue salmon:
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce of your choice
  • For the lime butter:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt

To make the mango salsa: In a bowl, combine the mango, onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, lime zest and juice, tequila and salt. Toss well. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

To make the barbecue salmon: Preheat the broiler to high and set the oven rack about 6 inches below it. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the salmon fillet. Brush with the barbecue sauce.

Broil the salmon for 6 to 8 minutes, or until just opaque and flaky.

To make the lime butter: In a bowl, stir together the butter, lime zest and salt until combined.

While the salmon is still hot, pat the lime butter over top and let it melt. Top with the mango salsa and serve.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Recipe excerpted from: “The Pretty Dish” by Jessica Merchant. Published by Rodale Books, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Chris Ross is a section editor for the San Diego Union Tribune and covers food, travel, and home and garden. Email her at

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