Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Brown Sugar-Seared Salmon with Bulgur and Peach Salad

If you’ve visited this blog on occasion, you may know that balancing tastes and textures is a big deal here. This recipe is a good example.

I think salmon is one of the most flavorful of fishes. Add a brown sugar rub and that sweetness turns into a caramelized crust on the tender, mild, pan-seared salmon.

Side dishes are an important part of any dinner, and I think especially so for fish. When the main dish is fairly light, a hearty side can round out the meal with an inviting balance of flavors and textures.

Bulgur is one of the most nutritious of grains, but let’s face it: by itself, not exactly a taste explosion. Remedy that with a sweet peach, chewy dates, and the pleasant tanginess of goat cheese. Keep the nutrition—just add flavor.

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp plus 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp honey
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 5-oz salmon filets, skin on one side
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 1/3 plus 1/4 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small peach, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
Bulgur Salad Ingredients
  1. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and honey in a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  2. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper and rub the brown sugar all over the flesh side. Set aside.
Brown Sugar-Rubbed Salmon
  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the bulgur and cook, stirring several times, 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover the pan, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 9-10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and let cool 15 minutes. Add the parsley, shallot, and dressing and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Bulgur in Olive Oil
Broth Added 
Cooked Bulgur
Parsley Mixture Added
  1. Meanwhile, heat a heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium-high heat and brush with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the salmon flesh-side down and sear 2 minutes. Turn and sear until just cooked through, but opaque in the middle, 2-3 minutes longer, depending on thickness.
Salmon Beginning to Sear

Seared Salmon
Lift the salmon off the skin and transfer to plates. Divide the bulgur mixture alongside and top with dates, peach wedges, and goat cheese. Serve right away.

Brown Sugar-Seared Salmon with Bulgur and Peach Salad


  1. Well I'm ready to eat! Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing on the What's for Dinner link up!

  2. That looks delicious. I agree about the sugar making a great crust on the salmon and adding flavor We make a maple Dijon glazed salmon. I am going to pick up some salmon at the store again this week and try your recipe. My daughter loves salmon, so I am always looking for a new way to prepare it.

    1. Thanks so much --- hope you and your family enjoy it!