Salmon with Cantaloupe, Horseradish Vinaigrette

Fresh Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Cubed Cantaloupe, Drizzled with Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Horseradish Vinaigrette, Crispy Fried Shallot
Embellished with Celery Leaves and Lime Zest

served with
Andrew Rich 2008 Roussanne Columbia Valley

We had spied this magical salmon recipe in the July issue of  Food & Wine magazine on our flight to Portland, Oregon. I was hooked just reading about the pairing of salmon with cantaloupe, but it was the horseradish vinaigrette with fresh lime juice, brown sugar, and fish sauce that put it over-the-top. And as it turns out, a friend in Portland had just returned from Alaska with her catch of sockeye salmon.

Dust thinly sliced shallots with cornstarch. Fry in a single layer in hot canola oil until crispy. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt. Set aside.

Our slightly modified recipe is originally by Chef John Shields of Town House Restaurant in Chilhowie, Virginia. Crispy salmon skin and crispy shallots contrast with the sweet cantaloupe and exotic horseradish vinaigrette. With the addition pretty pale green celery leaves and lime zest, this is one stunning dish! To make Chef Shields’ dish heart healthy, we substituted non-fat Greek yogurt for his buttermilk, and used canola oil for frying.

Prosciutto, Cantaloupe, and Oregon Blueberries
Please, have a snack while we cook dinner!

Gorgeous Sockeye Salmon

Skin-on filets are rinsed and patted dry. Season with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. Cook skin-side down in a hot cast iron pan with a bit of canola oil until the skin is crisp. Finish in a 400° oven, to achieve desired doneness.

Fresh cantaloupe is cubed and drizzled with non-fat Greek yogurt.
The salmon is placed atop the cantaloupe.

Horseradish Vinaigrette

  • 2 T. freshly grated horseradish
  • 1 1/2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 T. Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 T. light brown sugar
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Spoon vinaigrette over and around the salmon. Garnish with celery leaves and lime zest.

Serve topped with crispy fried shallots and a glass of Roussanne.

We discovered Andrew Rich wines at the Carlton Winemakers’ Studio (Carlton, Oregon) in the lush Willamette Valley. The staff was friendly and gracious and they even offered little known information about selecting the brisket cut of beef (more on that later). Our favorite white was the Andrew Rich 2008 Roussanne, made from Columbia Valley grapes. We were sure this wine was going to pair wonderfully with the salmon we planned to make for dinner later that night.

Andrew Rich 2008 Roussanne Columbia Valley

Aromas of stone fruits, flowers, honey and minerals, well-balanced with a gorgeous silky texture.


The Studio is a space where artisanal wine producers come together under one roof and have access to a state-of-the-art, gravity-driven, efficient facility which produce and promote their ultra-premium wines.

801 North Scott St.
Carlton, Oregon

Worth the trip!

18 thoughts on “Salmon with Cantaloupe, Horseradish Vinaigrette”

  1. I love the “makeover” as I am counting on you to lower my cholesterol (no pressure). The combination of the canteloupe and then topped with horseradish vinaigrette does intrigue – so many tastes in one dish. It’s a party.

  2. you didn’t mention how many bottles of rousanne it took to make this dinner!

    while the pairing of salmon and cantaloupe was great, it was the amazing horseradish vinaigrette that tied all the components of this dish together. i still think about that sauce! miss you!

  3. What a lovely combination…and I bet the horseradish vinaigrette pulls it all together. It not only makes a lovely presentation, but it’s a healthy dish as well…

    I’d love to try the Roussanne!

  4. You’re making me miss the days of the Willamette Valley (I lived in Eugene, OR for about 5 years). No matter how hard I try, a salmon I have in CA is never as good as a salmon I have in OR.

    The vinaigrette sounds delicious! I’m bookmarking this idea for use later in the week… or when I can get some good salmon.

    Happy weekend!


  5. I am hooked! Luckily, I can get Sockeye salmon at the supermarket down the street. Frozen, but excellent quality. I am intrigued by your mention of buttermilk in the original recipe. The organic buttermilk I buy here has only 1% fat. I shall try to use it, I imagine it its nice tanginess goes well with the salmon.

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