Seared salmon with pearl couscous and salsa fresca

In this collaboration between the Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen and Sun Basket, an easy salsa brings a rainbow of flavors and textures to salmon fillets.


2-serving instructions (4-serving modifications in red)

Wash produce before use

1  Cook the couscous

Bring a medium sauce pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the couscous and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain the couscous, then return to the pot and toss with 2 to 3 teaspoons oil. Cover and keep warm.
While the water heats and the couscous cooks, prepare the salsa fresca.

2  Prep the salsa fresca ingredients

  • Juice the lime. (Juice 1 lime; save the remaining lime.)
  • Peel the cucumber, if desired, and trim the ends. Cut the cucumber lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into enough ¼-inch pieces to measure 1 cup (2 cups).
  • Cut away the core from the tomato; coarsely chop the tomato.
  • Remove the stem, ribs, and seeds from the bell pepper; cut the pepper lengthwise into ¼-inch-wide strips, then crosswise into ¼-inch pieces.
  • Peel and finely chop enough shallots to measure ¼ cup (½ cup).

3  Make the salsa fresca

In a medium bowl, using a fork or whisk, mix together the honey, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 to 2 teaspoons oil, and as many chile flakes as you like; season generously with salt and pepper.
Add the cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and shallots and gently stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand while you cook the fish.

4  Prep and cook the fish

Prep and cook instructions are almost identical for all fish options.

  • Pat the fish dry with a paper towel; season the salmon or halibut generously with salt and pepper, the trout lightly.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if needed, add the fish (skin side down for the salmon or trout) and cook until lightly browned (and the salmon or trout skin is crisp), 4 to 5 minutes for salmon or halibut, 2 to 4 minutes for trout. Turn and cook until the flesh is opaque and flaky, 2 to 4 minutes for salmon or halibut, 1 to 2 minutes for trout. Transfer to a plate. Add more oil between batches if needed.

5  Serve

Transfer the couscous to individual plates. Top with the fish and salsa fresca, including any accumulated juices, and serve.

Kids Can!

  • Juice the lime.
  • Measure the cucumber and shallots.
  • Stir the salsa fresca.