Pan-Seared Sockeye Salmon & Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Pan-Seared Sockeye Salmon & Mediterranean Orzo Salad Recipe
This is the perfect meal for those hot, end-of-summer days! The cool, refreshing orzo salad is great by itself, but pairs wonderfully with the wild, pan-seared salmon. The cucumbers, tomatoes, artichokes, and salmon bring a great blend of Mediterranean vibes to the plate. The shallot vinaigrette is unique and creates an amazing blast of flavor. The shallots, Gravenstein Apple Balsamic, and the Herbes de Provence Olive Oil really shine through in the vinaigrette to create a perfect acidic to balance the dish. This meal will leave you feeling full and satisfied but also healthy and light!

Products used: Gravenstein Apple Balsamic Vinegar, Herbes de Provence Olive Oil, Sicilian Sea Salt,


For shallot vinaigrette:
3 large shallots
2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ tablespoons mustard
1 ½ tablespoons SOOC Herbes de Provence Olive Oil
1 ½ tablespoons SOOC Gravenstein Apple Balsamic
⅓ cup Champagne Balsamic Vinegar
~1 cup vegetable oil or any flavorless oil
For Mediterranean orzo salad:
1 can artichokes or 3-4 fresh ones
2 cups orzo
1 ¼ cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 English/seedless cucumber, diced small
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup basil, shredded/chopped (be careful not to overwork the basil; it is a delicate herb)
¾ cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon SOOC Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For salmon:
2 lbs high-quality, fresh salmon
2 tablespoons SOOC Herbes de Provence Olive Oil
1 tablespoon SOOC Sicilian Sea Salt
For crispy shallots:
½ cup SOOC Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oil


For shallot vinaigrette:

Preheat oven to 280°F.

Place shallots in a small oven-proof skillet or roasting dish and cover with oil. Shallots should be completely covered in oil, so use the smallest dish you can find that will fit all the shallots so you don’t have to use too much oil.

Roast/confit shallots for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until soft and slightly brown. Strain or remove from oil.

Save approximately ⅓ of the confit shallots to make crispy shallots and use the remaining ⅔ in the vinaigrette.

Combine remaining ingredients except the vegetable oil (honey, mustard, Herbes de Provence Olive Oil, Gravenstein Apple Balsamic, and Champagne Balsamic Vinegar) in a blender and blend on high until shallots are puréed, about 30 seconds.

On medium/high speed, slowly add the vegetable oil until the vinaigrette thickens. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it is not thick enough, add more oil until it thickens up.

For Mediterranean orzo salad:

If using fresh artichokes: clean, prep, and boil/steam the artichoke hearts until they become soft and a fork can easily be poked in and out, about 7-8 minutes. Let cool and dice into bite-sized pieces. If using canned artichokes: cut artichokes into bite-sized pieces.

Boil water and add salt until it tastes like the ocean (use kosher or table salt because a decent amount is needed). Add orzo to boiling water and follow boxed cooking instructions.

Once orzo is done cooking, add it to a large mixing bowl and mix in 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to prevent from sticking.

Mix in all of the remaining ingredients (artichokes, cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, basil, feta, and 1 ¼ cups shallot vinaigrette)

Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour or until cold.

For salmon:

Cut salmon into serving size pieces, about 2 inches thick. Drizzle salmon with Herbes de Provence Olive Oil and sprinkle with Sicilian Sea Salt.

In a large frying pan (cast iron preferred) on medium heat with about ¼ inch ** of cooking oil, place salmon in pan. You should be able to fit about 4 pieces of salmon in a 12 inch skillet. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan.

Cook the salmon skin-side down for 3-5 mins or until the salmon has cooked about halfway through. Flip the salmon and cook until done. Do not try to pull the salmon off the pan, it will unstick by itself when it finishes cooking.

Remove salmon from pan and let rest on a paper towel or wire rack skin side down to remove excess grease. If you have a piece without skin, let it rest on a plate for a minute or two.

For crispy shallots:

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a small pot until 350℉ or until the oil begins to smoke. Place shallots into the oil carefully and fry on high until golden brown and crispy. Don’t wait too long to take them out as they will finish quickly and burn.

To plate:

Scoop the orzo salad in the middle of the plate, place a piece of salmon on top, and garnish with crispy shallots and a basil leaf. Enjoy!