Thanksgiving is a holiday all about friends, family, comfort, and food. Although turkey may be the known as the staple at the Thanksgiving table, there are plenty of delicious seafood meal options ready to take center-stage. For those who aren’t really into cooking a whole turkey for the extended family, consider this recipe by Chef Ned Bell that is known to be a real crowd-pleaser.

Salmon and Kale Salad with Apples, Dried Cranberries, Hazelnuts, and Fromage Frais

Serves 4

Try a different dish this Thanksgiving to give your palate a change. Salmon is filled with healthy omega fats and makes dinnertime so easy. Its full flavour means it can stand alone with minimal seasoning or stand up to just about any assertive ingredients you crave, including Kale tossed with an autumnal cider vinaigrette.

Honey and Apple Cider Vinaigrette

  • 1 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil

Combine the vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle the oil in a thin steady stream until incorporated and the mixture is emulsified. Adjust seasoning to taste. (Alternatively, you can do this with an immersion blender or in a blender or a small food processor.) Can be made ahead of time; will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


    • 6 cups torn purple, red Russian, or curly leaf kale (stems removed)
    • 4 (4-5oz) skin on salmon or salmon fillets
    • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
    • 1 tbsp canola oil
    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1 lemon, halved
    • 6 cups torn baby kale
    • 1 large tart-sweet apple such as Honeycrisp, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced
    • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
    • 1 cup fromage frais or fresh whole-milk ricotta
    • ½ cup dried cranberries

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Set a large bowl of ice water nearby. Add the purple, red Russian, or curly leaf kale to the boiling water and blanch for 45 seconds. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer immediately to the ice water. When completely cool, drain, squeezing out the excess water.

    Use paper towels to pat the fish dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Carefully lay the fish in the pan skin side down, (If necessary, cook the fish in batches to prevent overcrowding, which will keep the fish from caramelizing properly.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes; a golden crust will have formed on the skin.

    Flip the fillets over, skin side up, and cook for another 3 minutes or until the flesh is browned, and the fish is almost opaque all the way through and flakes easily. Add the butter to the pan. Allow it to melt while you squeeze the lemon over the fish. Use a spoon to baste each fillet with the buttery juices for about 1 minute. Transfer the fish to a plate and keep warm.

    In a large bowl, toss the blanched kale and baby kale with just enough vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 4 plates and garnish with the apples, hazelnuts, fromage frais (or ricotta), and cranberries. Top with a pan-seared salmon and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette. Serve warm.

    Do you have any seafood dishes that are a part of your Thanksgiving tradition? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

    Feel good about the food you serve and join thousands of others to support small scale Canadian sustainable seafood fishing families with Skipper Otto. Click here to become a member and enjoy the freshest fish in BC!

    *Excerpted from Lure by Ned Bell and Valerie Howes. Photographs by Kevin Clark. Copyright 2017 by Chefs for Oceans, recipes copyright by Ned Bell. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Allison Hepworth - October 9, 2019

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A Seafood Spin for the Thanksgiving Table

Allison Hepworth - October 9, 2019

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