Grilled King Salmon With Walnut Tarator and Cherry Tomato Salad From 'A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus'


Salmon is perked up with tarator, a Turkish sauce made with walnuts, bread, lemon, garlic, and olive oil. [Photograph: Jim Henkens]

If summer has already left you where you are, bookmark this recipe from chef Renee Erickson's new A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus for next year; it's worth remembering. She pairs grilled salmon with deeply flavorful tarator—a Turkish sauce made with walnuts, bread, lemon, garlic, and olive oil—and a bright and dilly tomato-and-cucumber salad.

The fatty fish and the rich sauce could feel heavy, but the salad, with fine strips of bracing lemon peel and plenty of lemon juice, is perky enough to lift the whole thing up. There is an abundance of 'good' fat in this dish, from the salmon, walnuts, and a whole lotta olive oil, but you don't feel weighed down after eating this, just nourished and satisfied, and like you'll maybe live forever if those fats are as good as they say.

Why I chose this dish: It is a beautiful, simple, composed dish.

What worked: I loved every element, and it was so easy to throw together, despite the separate components. Easy enough for a weeknight, but elegant enough for a party.

What didn't: Nothing wrong here.

Suggested tweaks: Erickson notes that you can use other types of salmon than the king salmon she calls for, but if your fillet is thinner, adjust the cooking time as necessary. She also mentions that at Boat Street Cafe, they occasionally make the tarator with hazelnuts, which sounds delicious. And I think that either variation with oven-roasted salmon and lemony Brussels sprouts or kale salad would see this basic idea right through the colder months, as well.

Thanks to the folks at Sasquatch Books, we have 5 copies of A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus to giveaway this week.