Grilled Salmon Skewers With Kale and Quinoa

Grilled Salmon Skewers With Kale and Quinoa. Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood

Whether you use your oven or the grill, this healthy one-dish meal is bright and satisfying. I use my go-to marinade for the salmon. With a balance of bright citrus, sweet chile heat and piquant mustard, it hits all of the flavor categories, and provides a welcome bite to cut through the buttery richness of the fish.

The salad is another go-to favorite, where I massage the kale leaves — you’ve probably heard of this method by now. In case you haven’t, massaging the tough leaves helps to tenderize them so that they are slightly softened, but not limp, while taming their earthy flavor. It’s really a must for kale salads and can be done well ahead of serving without the risk of wilting, thanks to the sturdiness of the kale leaves, which is a brilliant prep trick for salad.

I frequently use my grill as my second oven and fire source for cooking meats, chicken and fish, no matter the time of year. I will draw the line, though, when I can’t bear the thought of stepping out into polar temperatures or a drenching downpour to quickly char-grill my dinner. So, I turn to my oven broiler for (almost) the same charred results. This is how I prepared these salmon skewers.

You might wonder why I skewered the salmon, especially since there’s nothing else threaded with the fish. I cube and skewer the salmon so that the fish, which is cut into large chunks, has more surface area, edges and corners that are exposed to the grill. This ensures that there will be lots of crispy charred bits all over the salmon, which in my opinion is the best part of this recipe.

(For this recipe, presoak wooden skewers at 30 minutes.)

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Lynda Balslev is the co-author of “Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture” (Gibbs Smith, 2014). Contact her at TasteFood, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to Or visit the TasteFood blog at

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