Relish: Salmon Pita with Creamy Mustard Sauce and Caprese Salad

There’s something about eating one of these salmon pitas that just tastes like summer. These recipes for the salmon and sauce were inspired by this salmon burger recipe on the Eating Well website. The caprese salad is a long-time favorite for my wife and me, and it’s so easy to make. Plus, it really does add to the summery feel of the dish.

I bought packaged salmon with skin from Trader Joe’s, so I had to cut off the skin. This is no easy task, so I definitely recommend having it done for you if possible. I found that if you can get your knife a little ways in right along the skin, you can hold the skin against the cutting board with your fingers and then push outward and slightly upward with the knife while maintaining a slightly downward angle of the blade. I know, it sounds tricky, but this is probably a good skill to have anyway, right?

Caprese salad can be different depending on what you love most. If you’re a mozzarella superfan, then you might have giant slices of mozzarella with a tiny tomato slice and a tiny basil leaf. If you can’t get enough of tomatoes, then perhaps yours will look like a mound of tomato slices over a bit of mozzarella with a sprinkling of basil. My personal recommendation is a 1-to-1 ratio in overall amount of mozzarella and tomato, plus a medium-sized basil leaf and about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of olive oil per portion. Some people add salt and pepper, but I really don’t think they’re necessary. And while this is called a salad, I definitely think fingers are acceptable utensils.

The salmon pita is really pretty simple to make, and it’s a good lunch to bring to work. If you bring a pita and little tupperware containers of salmon and sauce and microwave the salmon a bit, then you’ve got a tasty sandwich with which to make your coworkers jealous. Plus, there’s the major benefit of salmon being so good for you, and if you use low-fat or fat-free sour cream and Greek yogurt, this whole meal is excellent.

Relish: Salmon Pita with Creamy Mustard Sauce and Caprese Salad
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Jon Schelander-Pugh
Serves: 2-3
  • Salmon (about 1 lb. Salmon fillet, skinned)
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • optional splash of beer (no more than 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Creamy Mustard Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon capers, strained
  1. If your salmon still has skin on it, remove it now. This can be done by inserting a long sharp knife between the meat and skin starting on the tail side, holding the skin against the cutting board, and moving the knife along at a very slightly downward angle while maintaining a slightly upward force. Really, the best thing to do is to get your salmon fresh from the seller and ask them to remove the skin when you buy it.
  2. Cut your salmon into cubes of about 1/4 inch. Try using as little back-and-forth motion as possible to avoid making the salmon mushy. Place the salmon in a medium bowl
  3. Finely chop your garlic and shallots. Add to the salmon and carefully mix.
  4. Add the salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg, and lemon juice and carefully mix. I find that I occasionally enjoy drinking a beer while cooking, and this is a recipe that works to just splash a little beer in while mixing. So if this works for you, give it a try. Use no more than a tablespoon of beer.
  5. Place salmon mixture in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, and up to 1 hour
  6. While salmon is chilling, mix together the Greek yogurt, sour cream, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, paprika, and ground mustard in another medium bowl. Add the dried parsley and dried dill and mix in. Finally, add the strained capers and mix in. I prefer my capers whole, but if you want them to be blended in, pulse the whole mixture a few times in a food processor.
  7. In a large skillet, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, or enough to coat the bottom. Place over medium heat and add the salmon. When you hear it begin to sizzle, stir for about 4 minutes. After that, let it sit for another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the salmon starts to slightly brown, remove it from the heat.
  8. Cut a pita in half and place a little bed of lettuce in the pocket of each. Stuff with salmon and then drizzle in the sauce.
  9. For a truly summery dish experience, make a side of caprese salad by thinly slicing fresh mozzarella, then topping the mozzarella slices with tomato slices and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper to taste.


August 13, 2012