Recipe Re-creation: Grilled Salmon Fresca

Once upon a time, I went to dinner with Chris and my friend, Dana. We ended up at Brio Tuscan Grille and I had the most amazing grilled salmon with veggies (their Grilled Salmon Fresca). I'm not typically a huge fan of chain restaurants, but this meal haunted me (in a good way) for the next week.

In an effort to be more adventurous in the kitchen, I decided to try my hand at recreating this meal, and the results are below. I was SUPER happy with how it turned out and can't wait to make it again!

I ended up googling multiple recipes for the pesto vinaigrette and balsamic glaze, and the below recipes are clean/lower fat and sugar adaptations that were still delicious, but MUCH healthier.

There are a lot of moving parts to this meal, but it comes together pretty quickly, especially if you have someone else doing the grilling! This can easily be cut in half or doubled for company.

Grilled Salmon Fresca
Servings: 2

  • 2 3-4oz salmon filets
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (I used heirloom tomatoes from Trader Joe's)
  • 2 Tbs. crumbled low fat feta cheese
  • 2 servings pesto vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • 2 servings balsamic glaze (recipe below)
Start by making the pesto vinaigrette and balsamic glaze, since those can sit ready while you prep everything else.

Sweet potato: Cube and roast for 20-30 minutes at 375. WATCH it closely the last 10 minutes or so, sweet potatoes burn quickly. 

Tomatoes: Cut in quarters or halves, set aside.

Salmon and Asparagus: Heat grill to 500 degrees. Wash salmon filets and pat dry, brush lightly with olive oil. Grill skin side down 5 minutes, or until the fish easily comes up from the grill, and flip. Grill another 3-5 minutes, until the fish is opaque and flakes easily. While this is going on, grill the asparagus 8-10 minutes until they've reached your desired level of grilled (we like them pretty well done).

Assemble as you see fit (I'm trying to learn to 'plate' food better), top with crumbled feta, and enjoy! And tell me if you like it :)

Pesto Vinaigrette
Servings: 10
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 3 Tbs. red- or white-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Blend all ingredients until smooth. This isn't really enough to put in the food processor, I used a stick blender but a normal blender will also work. 

Balsamic Glaze
Servings: 2
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small pot, then reduce heat and simmer until thick, about 10 minutes. 

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