By Alison Bailin Batz
Salmon to the rescue! Did you know that eating salmon a few days per week not only helps your heart – thanks to its potent omega-3 fatty acids – but naturally lowers blood sugar levels, aids in repairing tissue damage, and even helps prevent eye problems? Not only that, it’s rich in essential oils including calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins A, B and D that help skin and hair health, among other things.
But, one can only have grilled salmon so many times before it becomes a bit of a bore. With that, here are some inspired ways to order this superfood at restaurants across the Valley.
Citrus Cured Smoked Faroe Island Salmon
Faroe Island salmon is rubbed with a tangy citrus zest then cured for 24 hours before it is cold-smoked with hickory and cut into ribbons. Next, it is garnished with a flavorful broth made from Persian cucumbers and fresh dill, and paired with baby heirloom tomatoes, horseradish-infused yogurt, buckwheat lavosh, and a salmon skin crumble. It’s all topped with dried dill and horseradish powder. $16. 2515 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.990.2433; www.atlasbistrobyob.com.
Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast
Traditional avocado toast gets taken to new, tasty heights as Culinary Dropout layers the popular brunch standard with smoked salmon, a sunny side up egg, and Campari tomatoes, which are treasured for their sweetness and juicy texture. The dish is topped with capers and pickled red onions for a little saltiness and crisp texture. $13. Multiple locations; www.culinarydropout.com.
LON’s at The Hermosa Inn
Scotland’s second biggest edible import – after scotch, of course – has long been the Scottish salmon, known to be milder than other types such as Atlantic but with a slightly higher fat content that provides a richer mouthfeel, almost like butter. At LON’s, they crisp it up over a mélange of barley, hearty butterkin squash, chorizo and tomato emulsion, all of which are locally grown or sourced. $32. 5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley; 602.955.7878; www.hermosainn.com.
Maple Mustard Glazed Skuna Bay Salmon
Lincoln, A JW Steakhouse at JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
Skuna Bay salmon is given a hint of sweetness – not to mention some “spirit” – as Lincoln bastes it in Noble barrel-aged maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Once the flavor sinks in, it’s roasted in the restaurant’s specialty Josper charcoal oven, an elegant combination of a grill and oven that burns clean and only gives a light char to protein, locking in the juiciness and delicate flavors. Once plated, the salmon is paired with Brussels sprouts, golden raisins and bacon and topped with chives. $32. 5402 E. Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale; 480.948.1700; www.lincolnrestaurantpv.com.
J’s Kaiyo Sushi + Bar
Poke seems to be popping up everywhere around the Valley, but J’s Kaiyo gets the nod for their salmon poke given it’s delivered fresh each day. Served raw, the salmon is joined by sesame soy as well as avocado, scallions, cucumbers and red onions to add layers of texture, flavor and acidity. It is topped with masago, an acclaimed roe that gives an almost caviar effect and feel. $12. 4412 N. Miller Road, Scottsdale; 480.427.2526; www.jskaiyo.com.
Slowly Cooked Salmon
J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician
A Valley icon, J&G Steakhouse changes up its salmon offering seasonally. During spring and into early summer, the chef slow-cooks the fish and pairs it with a housemade port reduction. The dish is finished with sugar snap peas and mashed potatoes for equal parts light and creamy as accompaniments. $32. 6000 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale; 480.214.8000; www.jgsteakhousescottsdale.com.
Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon
St. Francis serves up this brunch classic with a twist by traditionally poaching eggs, and swapping the ham for smoked salmon and a heavenly herbed cream cheese. It’s layered on a fresh-baked English muffin and then topped with a housemade hollandaise. The dish is served with a side of crispy fingerling potatoes. $15. 111 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix; 602.200.8111; www.stfrancisaz.com.
Beet Cured Salmon
Roka Akor Scottsdale
Here, salmon is reimagined in a way that succeeds on all levels. This dish starts with buttery Scottish salmon, which has been marinated in beet juice, giving it an earthiness and hint of bitterness. The bitterness is then cut with a pairing of sweet ginger miso and the acidity of pickled red onions. It’s topped with green apples, raspberries, and serrano peppers, all of which come together for umami in every bite. $16. 7299 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale; 480.306.8800; www.rokaakor.com.
Cured Salmon Tartine
Pomelo at the Orchard
A fresh baguette is grilled and used as the base of this dish. It is then topped with a thick smothering of garlic- and chive-infused cream cheese, dill and pickled onions before house-cured salmon is added as the “crown” of the tartine. A wedge of lemon is served on the side and recommended to be squeezed over the entire dish. $10. 7100 N. 12th St., Phoenix; 602.633.2600; www.pomelophx.com.
The Salmon Hayek
With a clever take (and name), this sandwich is made with hearty portions of cooked, smoky salmon and then topped with tomatoes, avocado, arugula and Calabrian aioli, which is much like a garlic-infused mayonnaise, and served on a brioche bun. $14.50. 6107 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 480.750.0506 www.campsocial.com.