It’s not so long ago that I really didn’t like avocados. Though admittedly up until a few years ago you didn’t see nearly as many of them in stores and on menus as you do these days. Go back to my childhood and mention the idea of smashed avocado on sourdough toast and you’d have been laughed out of the room.

The only places you really encountered them were the try-hard provincial restaurants which though they were the high of sophistication. They were not, no matter how many portions of “Prawn Cocktail in an Avocado Pear” they served. They probably had that murkey green “avocado”-coloured sanitary ware in their bathrooms too. Yuck! You can see why the UK used to have a pretty bad culinary reputation…

As you can tell from this recipe for Blackened Salmon with Avocado Cream Sauce my opinion on the humble fruit has changed somewhat over time. I’ve grown to love its creamy texture and delicate, neither sweet nor savoury flavour. Especially when it’s made into fresh guacamole, which is a dangerously addictive dip in my presence.

Here the avocado is used to create a creamy sauce to counteract the heat from the blackened spices on the Salmon. Much like its use in Mexican food the avocado helps to temper the fiery flavours of the chilli without completely neutralising it. Only half of the fruit was needed to create the sauce, so to save waste I made a salsa with the rest. It’s not unlike guacamole in its flavour, though I’ve deliberately left it chunky to add some texture to the meal.

It’s all brought together with the Salmon, which is simply pan-fried after being coated in the spice mix. I’ve not gone too complex with the flavours here – using old favourites garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme. These are pressed onto the flesh of the salmon, which is then cooked flesh-side down in a hot pan until the spices blacken. It’s then turned over and cooked on the skin side until it crisps.

The times will vary depending on the thickness of your fish, but you want to make sure you don’t overcook it and dry out the centre. Though charring those spices is essential. Otherwise it wouldn’t be all that blackened, eh?

Blackened Salmon with Avocado Cream Sauce

The cool creamy Avocado Sauce helps temper the fiery heat of the spices on this Blackened Salmon, without totally neutralising the flavour.

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

10 mins

Total Time

30 mins

Course: Main CourseCuisine: FishKeyword: Salmon Servings: 4 Calories: 595kcal

Ingredients

For the Avocado Salsa

1 clove Garlic crushed

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Lime juice and zest

10 g Fresh Coriander Leaves

½ tsp Sea Salt

½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

60 g Tomato deseeded and chopped

60 g Red Pepper deseeded and chopped

60 g Shallot chopped

60 g Avocado chopped

For the Avocado Cream Sauce

70 g Avocado chopped

1 clove Garlic chopped

10 g Fresh Coriander Leaves

1 Lime juice only

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

100 g Soured Cream

2 tsp Harissa

1 tsp Sea Salt

½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

For the Blackened Salmon

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

1 tsp Garlic Granules

1 tsp Dried Oregano

½ tsp Dried Thyme

1 tsp Sea Salt

½ tsp Cayenne Pepper

2 tbsp Olive Oil

4 Salmon Fillets

Instructions

Make the Avocado Salsa

Mix together the olive oil, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, coriander and seasoning in a small bowl to form a dressing.

Put the chopped tomato, red pepper, shallot and avocado in a bowl, then mix together. Pour over the dressing, then stir gently until everything is well coated.

Cover and put to one side until needed.

Make the Avocado Cream Sauce

Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth sauce.

Cover and put to one side until needed.

Prepare the Salmon

Mix together the spices then sprinkle across a plate.

Pat the salmon dry with some kitchen paper, then brush the flesh with a little of the oil. Press the salmon down into the spice mix, applying a little pressure to ensure that the spices stick to the fish. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Carefully place the salmon flesh side down into the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes. You want the spices to blacken and the fish to cook almost halfway through.

Carefully turn over so the fish is skin-side down and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until the skin is crisp and the fish cooked through. Serve the salmon on top of a small pool of the dressing, with the salsa and some salad leaves alongside.