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Poached Salmon With Zucchini Tzatziki Recipe

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Democracy Dies in Darkness

By Ellie Krieger

In this light, summery dish, tender poached salmon sits atop a creamy yogurt sauce similar to a Greek tzatziki. This version, however, is made with zucchini instead of the traditional cucumber, a twist that gives it an earthy flavor and more substantial texture. Adorned with a drizzle of olive oil and feathery dill fronds, it’s a meal that delivers ample pleasure and nourishment. The poached salmon can be served either warm or chilled.

Storage: Refrigerate the salmon for up to 2 days; the sauce, for up to 3 days.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.



  1. Step 1

    Place the lemon zest in a small bowl and cover with a clean, damp towel to keep it from drying out. Coarsely grate about 2 teaspoons of one of the shallots and transfer to a medium bowl. Slice the remaining shallots.

  2. Step 2

    In a colander or fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, toss the zucchini with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and let drain for about 15 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out (and discard) as much liquid as possible; you should get about 3/4 cup zucchini.

  3. Step 3

    While the zucchini is draining, in a large (12-inch) lidded skillet with tall sides set over high heat, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. (In a separate saucepan or kettle, bring an additional 2 cups of water to a boil, in case it’s needed.) Add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the sliced shallots and dill sprig to the boiling water in the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and place the salmon in the skillet, skin side down. If the fillets are not completely submerged, add boiling water from the kettle to the skillet until they are.

  4. Step 4

    Cover the skillet and poach the salmon, checking occasionally to make sure the water is at a bare simmer, until the fish is opaque, flakes easily under the tines of a fork and reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, about 10 minutes for 1-inch-thick fillets. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the fillets to a plate, let sit until cool enough to handle, then remove and discard the skin.

  5. Step 5

    While the fish is cooling, transfer the drained zucchini to the bowl with the grated shallot. Add the yogurt, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 tablespoon of the dill, the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the mint, if using, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, and stir to combine. You should have about 1 1/3 cups.

  6. Step 6

    Add the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of salt and the pepper to the lemon zest, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the zest mixture on top of the salmon.

  7. Step 7

    To serve, spread about 1/3 cup of the sauce on each plate, top each with a salmon fillet (warm or at room temperature), drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil and garnish with dill.


Dill >> parsley.
Shallot >> white or yellow onion.
Zucchini >> yellow squash.
Dairy-free? >> Use a nondairy Greek yogurt instead.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (1 salmon fillet and about 1/3 cup sauce)

  • Calories


  • Fat

    16 g

  • Saturated Fat

    3 g

  • Carbohydrates

    7 g

  • Sodium

    364 mg

  • Cholesterol

    84 mg

  • Protein

    42 g

  • Fiber

    1 g

  • Sugar

    5 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov.

Published July 2, 2024

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