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Seared Salmon with Wheat Berry and Avocado Salad

Grilled SalmonJohn E. Kelly / Getty Images


  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt and white pepper milled (to taste)
  • 1 lime, zested (to taste)
  • 1 cucumber, pickled in liquid (recipe below), cut lengthwise into thin half moon slices
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound salmon fillet, cut into 4 4-ounce portions
  • Pickling Liquid
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 fresh bay leaf with 1 notch torn every 1/2 inches
  • Chef notes

    From the salmon to the wheat berries and avocado, all the ingredients in this delicious dinner from chef George Mendes is packed with nutrients.


    To pickle the cucumbers:

    In a small skillet, heat the peppercorns and coriander over medium heat, tossing occasionally until toasted and fragment.

    In small saucepan, bring the vinegar and 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the sugar, salt, bay leaf and toasted spices. Boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat after steeping for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and pour hot over the prepared vegetables or fruits in a non-reactive container. This amount of liquid can pickle up to 6 cups.

    Let cool to room temperature, then cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 1 week. The pickling flavor gets stronger over time. Strain the pickles and reserve the liquid. You can re-use the same pickling liquid twice.

    To make the salmon and salad:

    Combine the wheat berries with the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and let simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours until the berries are tender and chewy.

    Place the cooked wheat berries, onion, parsley, cilantro, avocado, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper lime zest and pickled cucumber in a bowl and toss to combine.

    Add extra virgin olive oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Add salmon pieces and cook two minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from pan.

    Place each piece of salmon on a plate and top with the salad. Serve.