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Blackened Salmon with Watermelon Corn Pico de Gallo

Summer is in full swing here in Eastern North Carolina. When we moved here from South Florida I didn’t think it was possible to find a place that was hotter than there. Honestly I think I say that every time we move. I really thought that living in Be’er Sheva was like living on the sun, then we moved to South Florida and I thought nothing could be hotter than that in summer, now here in Greenville, NC, I think the humidity is trying to kill everyone. No joke, so humid. All relative I guess, right? Either way, I think I’ll take melting into a pile sweatiness over the below freezing, snowy winter we had here. Seriously, bring on the heat, or at least I say that for now. Get back to me in August when Im totally over the 90 degree days and ready for the cooler fall weather. 

These warmer months are all about fresh, clean and lighter meals for sure and everyone needs a great go to summer recipe. Especially a recipe thats easy, quick, delicious and could totally pass as a super stunning and impressive dish for summer dinner parties. This blackened salmon totally checks off all those boxes. It’s quite literally one of the easiest recipes and requires such minimal effort with truly outstanding results. For real guys, this salmon is bomb. If you make it, I’m pretty sure it will make it to your weekly meal rotations. Any leftovers are so perfect served cold on a salad the following day.

A simple dry rub of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and Trader Joes chili lime seasoning is sprinkled on top of some wild caught salmon filets and then cooked in hot cast iron pan. Seriously, why is cast iron cookware the greatest? I’m obsessed. Flipped once after a few minutes, you simply cannot get any easier than that and I mean, look at that crisp. Is your mouth watering yet? When the salmon is just done cooking I topped with some fresh squeezed lime juice and served it with this watermelon corn pico de Gallo which is the love child of my Watermelon Corn Salsa and one talented fellow blogger boss gal Kai’s Watermelon Pico de Gallo, over at the seriously beautiful blog Kai and The Kitchen. (Hey, girl!) It’s the perfect compliment to the blackened salmon and honestly just totally plain with some tortilla chips, or just on a fork, I mean thats how I’ve been eating it, so no judgement here.

A few tips for making the salmon:

  • Make sure you bring salmon to room temperature.
  • Be mindful of the smoke point of the oil you use. I used some olive oil.
  • As you want a a super hot pan to sear the salmon quickly, you don’t want the oil to start smoking and break down too quickly. You could then end up with an overly smoky kitchen and salmon that is cooking to quickly on the outside but not the center.
  • If you find that your salmon is cooking to quickly on the outside and is still raw in the center, I would move the cast iron to the oven to help finish it off.

Blackened Salmon

June 7, 2018
: 4
: Easy

Blackened salmon is the perfect go to summer dish. Simple enough for a weeknight meal and impressive enough for a dinner party.


  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh wild salmon (cut into 4 filets)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. Trader Joes chili lime seasoning
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • Step 1 in a small bowl mix together garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika and trader joes chili lime seasoning.
  • Step 2 season the salmon filets with the spice mixture. If you are leaving the skin on, only season the top of the filet. If you are removing the skin, season both sides.
  • Step 3 Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil.
  • Step 4 Place salmon filets flesh side down in skillet and sear until brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Step 5 Turn filets over and cook skin side down for another 2-3 minutes until skin crisps and the salmon is cooked through.
  • Step 6 Transfer salmon to a platter and squeeze with lime. Serve with watermelon corn pico de Gallo.

Watermelon Corn Pico De Gallo

June 7, 2018
: Easy

Serve as a topping for fish or eat with chips. A perfect summer side.


  • 4 cups cut up watermelon
  • 2 ears of raw corn, kernels cut off
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • large handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. honey
  • salt
  • Step 1 In a bowl, combine watermelon, corn, onion, poblano pepper and cilantro. Set aside.
  • Step 2 In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, apple cider vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt.
  • Step 3 Pour lime mixture over watermelon mixture and toss to coat.
  • Step 4 Let chill in the fridge for about an hour to let flavors meld together.
  • Step 5 Serve over blackened salmon or serve as a side with chips.

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