Salmon with Pickled Strawberries

In July of 2020, my husband and I visited Glacier National Park in Montana. It was a dream trip that we considered cancelling because of the international pandemic. Cancelling would have involved losing money, but mostly, after not leaving the house for months, we just wanted and needed to get to Montana.

We stayed at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, in Whitefish, Montana. Because of the pandemic, our hotel experience wasn’t what we had anticipated, but we understood the issues with which the hotel dealt. On our first night at the hotel, we ate dinner at the hotel’s “fancier” restaurant, called the Boat Bar.

I ordered a salmon dish. It was described as “House-smoked salt-cured seared salmon over kohlrabi purée, charred asparagus, beets, fava beans, and pickled strawberry vinaigrette” on the menu, photographed below.

The combination of flavors and textures were so good, that on our last night in Montana we ate at the same restaurant and I ordered this same dish. That is not like me!

I have never seen fresh fava beans where I live, so earlier this year, my girlfriend with a greenhouse started some for me! It was so exciting!

Following is more of a guide I used in my attempt to recreate this meal. I couldn’t find kohlrabi, so I subbed potatoes.

Salmon with Pickled Strawberries, Roasted Asparagus, Beets, Fava Beans, over a Potato Puree, and a Creamy Strawberry Vinaigrette
Serves 2

For  the  Fava  Beans: Strip open the pods and remove the beans. Place them in boiling salted water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and cool with ice water. Gently pinch off the peel.

For  the  Potato  Purée: Boil 2 peeled and chopped russet potatoes until tender, put them through a ricer, then add heavy cream until soft.

For  the  Salmon: Heat a little butter in a medium skillet, add 2 uniform thickness salmon filets, seasoned with salt and white pepper, and sautéed them until just cooked.

For  the  Beets: Because these weren’t treated any special way, I simply used canned beets, although at the store I could only find them already sliced. I cut them into little cubes as best I could, and placed them on paper towels to dry.

For  the  Asparagus: Slice about a dozen asparagus into small, uniform pieces, using mostly the tip end halves. Toss the pieces with salted olive oil, and roast them at 400 degrees until obvious browning appears.

For  the  Pickled  Strawberries: Slice about 6 large strawberries crosswise, place them in a jar, add 2 teaspoons of sugar and cover them completely with red wine vinegar. Shake gently and let the jar sit in the refrigerator overnight. Before using, remove them from the vinegar and let them sit on paper towels to dry.

For  the  Strawberry  Vinaigrette: Drain the pickled strawberries and reserved the vinegar in a small blender jar. Add about half of the pickled strawberries to the vinegar. Add olive oil, mayonnaise, about 1 teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth and taste.

I included some sunflower greens, and fresh flowers to use for the presentation.

To put it all together, make sure all of the elements are warm. Spread some potato purée on each plate (I made two servings) and top with the salmon.

Add the roasted asparagus, poached fava beans, beet cubes, and pickled strawberry slices.

Sprinkle the salmon with some flaked salt, if desired, and top with some microgreens of choice.

Taste the vinaigrette for flavor and seasoning before you use it. You don’t want it tart, but also not sweet. Serve extra on the side.

The vinaigrette is really good on the asparagus, beets, and favas. And I really enjoyed the backdrop of the potato purée.

And if you ever have a chance to see Glacier National Park and other parts of Montana, do go! Such spectacular scenery!

By Published On: May 6th, 202163 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

63 Comments

  1. BERNADETTE May 6, 2021 at 6:15 AM - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this delicious menu. Strawberries are just coming in. I am fascinated about pickling them. How long did you leave them in the refrigerator?

    • chef mimi May 6, 2021 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      Only overnight. I wanted them to stay red. When I’ve made strawberry vinegar and strawberry vodka before, which takes maybe 2 weeks, the strawberries basically turn white!

  2. angiesrecipes May 6, 2021 at 7:24 AM - Reply

    This is definitely a 5-star-restaurant Niveau! I like the idea of using pickled strawberries to garnish the dish. Very unique and delicious as well. The Glacier National Park looks so beautiful.

    • chef mimi May 6, 2021 at 7:44 AM - Reply

      Thanks. I thought it was fabulous and I don’t think I’ve ever ordered the same thing twice at a restaurant! the park is magnificent.

  3. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen May 6, 2021 at 8:38 AM - Reply

    The pickled strawberry sounds interesting!

    • chef mimi May 6, 2021 at 9:00 AM - Reply

      The combination of everything was outstanding!

      • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen May 6, 2021 at 9:03 AM

        Love it when you have a wonderful meal and just have to recreate it!!!

      • chef mimi May 6, 2021 at 9:04 AM

        I know. And such great flavors and ingredients in this one.

  4. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats May 6, 2021 at 10:11 AM - Reply

    Such a beautiful and tasty looking plate! Great combination of flavors and textures. :)

    • chef mimi May 6, 2021 at 10:12 AM - Reply

      It was really incredible. A busy plate of various flavors, but they all worked perfectly together!

  5. Abbe@This is How I Cook May 6, 2021 at 10:37 AM - Reply

    Beautiful food in a beautiful place. So spring! And honestly this sounds like an awesome meal!

    • chef mimi May 6, 2021 at 10:41 AM - Reply

      Awesome is an understatement. It was so good I had to order it a second time. Mine was slightly different because is simply sautéed the salmon, but all the flavors together were just outstanding.

  6. Molly Pisula May 6, 2021 at 11:41 AM - Reply

    Wow, this look fantastic! I’ve never made pickled strawberries before but I love that idea–and love using them for the vinaigrette as well. Great job recreating a fantastic restaurant meal!

    • chef mimi May 6, 2021 at 11:54 AM - Reply

      Thanks. I just had to. All of the components together were culinary perfection!

  7. Alex May 6, 2021 at 11:44 AM - Reply

    That looks and sounds great, Mimi.

  8. OlverIndulgence May 6, 2021 at 1:52 PM - Reply

    I have so many comments to make, and I apologize if I miss any! 1. I am so glad you got to go and enjoy Glacier! My wife and I got engaged on Grinnell, so it is an incredibly deeply special place for me. 1.b. I love your Glacier pictures. 2. I would have never thought to pickle strawberries or serve that with salmon…such a great recreation, and thank you for sharing!

    • chef mimi May 6, 2021 at 1:56 PM - Reply

      We have wanted to go for so long. We were supposed to go with our daughter and fiancée, but they were trapped in England. It was a tough decision to go, but so glad we made that decision. Stayed safe, and mostly were outside, as you know. What a great place to get engaged! I was really impressed at the quality of the food at this restaurant, and also at other restaurants in Whitefish. Thanks for your comment!

  9. Mary May 6, 2021 at 4:00 PM - Reply

    How lovely to get away to such a beautiful place for some rest and relaxation. And what a fabulous meal to discover. I can understand ordering it twice!!
    Have never pickled strawberries but it does sound rather special – will certainly try that one.
    Another lovely recipe Mimi. :)))

    • chef mimi May 10, 2021 at 11:08 AM - Reply

      Thank you Mary! If you really knew me you’d be so shocked that I’d not only go to the same restaurant twice, but also order the same meal! But that’s how good it was! And the restaurant was at the hotel where we stayed and it was the easiest choice for the first and last nights’ dining. A really fun dish!

  10. Tandy I Lavender and Lime May 6, 2021 at 10:51 PM - Reply

    You were so lucky to go away. And what a beautiful place. This dish looks scrummy. I am a tad lazy and buy fava beans already prepped. But I should try and grow some.

    • chef mimi May 7, 2021 at 7:00 AM - Reply

      Well I’ve never seen fava beans locally, so I had to grow them. I wanted to include all elements of this dish because it was so spectacular! It was a perfect getaway, because except for dining, we were in the wilderness most hours of each day, free of worry!

  11. sherry a mackay May 7, 2021 at 3:24 AM - Reply

    pickled strawberries? how interesing. and i certainly would never have thought to pair them with salmon. But it could be – delicious!

    • chef mimi May 7, 2021 at 7:02 AM - Reply

      That’s exactly what made this dish so spectacular. And just enough vinegar for some zing – you still taste the strawberry sweetness!

  12. David @ Spiced May 7, 2021 at 6:17 AM - Reply

    Wow, those photos of Montana are stunning! That’s a place that we have yet to visit, but it needs to go on the list. As far as this recipe, though, it sounds fantastic! I love the layers of flavor, and the pickled strawberries are certainly unique. I can see why you went back for this dish again!

    • chef mimi May 7, 2021 at 7:04 AM - Reply

      It’s unheard of for me to go to the same restaurant twice! But since it was at the lodge, it was the easiest for our first and last nights’ meals. I would go again and have this salmon again! And yes, get to Montana!

  13. annie@ciaochowbambina May 7, 2021 at 11:40 AM - Reply

    Oh my! Great combination of flavors and textures! This is some fancy cooking – and eating!! Love this, Mimi!!

    • chef mimi May 7, 2021 at 1:31 PM - Reply

      Thanks! It was fun to recreate. A truly fabulous dish.

  14. 2pots2cook May 7, 2021 at 11:56 AM - Reply

    Montana is on our “must see” places once we could fly again. Beautiful indeed ! Your dish is amazing as well and we must try it with all the strawberries around us over here.

    • chef mimi May 7, 2021 at 1:30 PM - Reply

      Good! It’s everything we thought it would be. Just gorgeous. And this dish is superb.

  15. Katherine | Love In My Oven May 7, 2021 at 3:10 PM - Reply

    Lovely photos!!! Pickled strawberry sounds wonderful! Delicious!

    • chef mimi May 7, 2021 at 3:19 PM - Reply

      It’s all so amazingly fantastic together!

  16. Zeba@Food For The Soul May 8, 2021 at 2:17 PM - Reply

    What a beautiful dish!

    • chef mimi May 8, 2021 at 4:46 PM - Reply

      thank you! It was really really good.

  17. Healthy World Cuisine May 8, 2021 at 3:56 PM - Reply

    Love this idea for pickled strawberries and just bought some today…. sounds like a must try. Happy Mother’s Day Mimi!

    • chef mimi May 8, 2021 at 4:45 PM - Reply

      thank you! You as well.

  18. Liz May 9, 2021 at 4:56 AM - Reply

    I haven’t been to Glacier since I was a teenager! I’d love to see its beauty again! I have made salmon with strawberries, but your whole plate of deliciousness is calling my name! You wear your chef’s hat well!!!

    • chef mimi May 9, 2021 at 7:17 AM - Reply

      It’s so beautiful – I’m glad we chose to not cancel. The whole salmon dish was incredible. I would have never thought to combine strawberries in any form with salmon! I hope you know chef Mimi is just a nickname my sister gave me years ago!

  19. Jeff the Chef May 9, 2021 at 11:07 AM - Reply

    What an absolutely beautiful meal, Mimi, and what gorgeous photos of your trip!

    • chef mimi May 9, 2021 at 12:48 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Jeff! It was a wonderful meal, and a fabulous trip that I’m glad we didnt’ cancel!

  20. StefanGourmet May 9, 2021 at 11:07 AM - Reply

    Fresh fava beans are really nice if you remove the pellicle like you did, but it is a lot of work and you will need a lot of pods to end up with a little. The strawberry vinaigrette sounds intriguing. You could substitute kohlrabi with rutabaga or turnips, if you can get any of those. They are all related.

    • chef mimi May 9, 2021 at 12:48 PM - Reply

      I read that something like 1 1/2 pounds of fava bean pods end up being 1 cup ! Crazy! But fortunately I didn’t need many. I personally liked the potato purée underneath everything else because it basically had no flavor.

  21. David Scott Allen May 9, 2021 at 12:05 PM - Reply

    Love the idea of the pickled strawberries… and the other salad ingredients… not sure I would have ever put them together. Glad you got away.

    • chef mimi May 10, 2021 at 11:09 AM - Reply

      Well I certainly wouldn’t have. So much – almost too much on the plate – but it all worked.

  22. Raymund May 10, 2021 at 6:54 PM - Reply

    Ohhh never tried a pickled strawberries, like David said, that is a great idea.

    • chef mimi May 10, 2021 at 7:33 PM - Reply

      And it really works with the salmon!

  23. Eva Taylor May 11, 2021 at 6:31 AM - Reply

    You’re so fortunate to be able to travel, we are STILL in lockdown and it’s been brutal so I can just imagine what a lovely change Montana was. What a memorable meal with so many components, you must have really loved it. It does look spectacular.

    • chef mimi May 11, 2021 at 8:23 AM - Reply

      Yes, I’m so glad we didn’t cancel, even though the trip was planned with younger daughter and fiancé, and they ended up being “trapped” in England. Glacier National Park has been on our list forever, and it’s beautiful. And all of the local fish was fabulous! We caught delicious trout.

  24. Carrie Tyler May 11, 2021 at 12:18 PM - Reply

    This entire dish looks beautiful, but those pickled strawberries are so intriguing! I’ve just got to try those!

    • chef mimi May 17, 2021 at 6:29 AM - Reply

      They’re really fun and went so well with the salmon and other elements of this dish.

  25. cookingontheweekends May 11, 2021 at 3:05 PM - Reply

    Mimi, it’s so great you took that trip! We only got as far as Lake Arrowhead (less than a 2 hr drive) during the pandemic, and it was well worth it. Your trip to Montana looks spectacular — talk about getting away!
    I’ve always wanted to pickle berries and never have. This has inspired me to do it. Can’t wait — and of course I’ll serve them with the salmon. What a great blend of flavors and textures, as you said. :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi May 11, 2021 at 3:15 PM - Reply

      Just a quick pickle overnight, but make sure to include some sugar, otherwise I imagine the sweetness won’t shine and you’d just taste vinegar. You’re so lucky you’re in California. So much beauty there.

  26. Laura May 11, 2021 at 3:14 PM - Reply

    Mimi, how gorgeous! The food, the plating, the photos! If I ever go there, that’s the dish for me! I’ve never had pickled strawberries, they look and sound delicious! What an awesome trip, too! Sorry it had to be during pandemic. But glad you went!

    • chef mimi May 12, 2021 at 7:15 AM - Reply

      I’m so glad we didn’t cancel. It was risky because two weeks later I was scheduled for my second thumb surgery, which I really needed. With corona, of course, it would have been canceled. Of course, it wasn’t an urban vacation, with 90% of the time in the wilderness or on a lake. But people weren’t wearing masks as they should have been, as mandated, and that was worrisome.

  27. Anonymous May 12, 2021 at 9:38 AM - Reply

    How gorgeous! And we are on the same wavelength with the pickles!:)

    • chef mimi May 12, 2021 at 9:42 AM - Reply

      It all was such a wonderful combination!

  28. sippitysup May 13, 2021 at 12:24 PM - Reply

    Beautiful Montana! Truly beautiful salmon! I’m also struck by how regional food can be (as it should be I suppose) because I consider favas as strictly seasonal in California. But kohlrabi is one of those things that you know, if you just can’t find anything else at the farmers market at least they’ll have kohlrabi (and I prefer potatoes). GREG

    • chef mimi May 14, 2021 at 11:41 AM - Reply

      We were too easy for huckleberries, but we did have huckleberry vodka and jam! I prefer potatoes as well…

  29. myhomefoodthatsamore May 14, 2021 at 1:08 AM - Reply

    Gosh Mimi, well done, super – I prefer your rendition to the original (though obviously have not tasted either, duh). I don’t like kohlrabi much in any case and super-adore mashed potatoes. I’d never heard of pickled strawberries, what a great idea. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    • chef mimi May 14, 2021 at 11:40 AM - Reply

      I think I did prefer the potatoes, even though they are a minor part of the dish. The pickled strawberries were incredibly good! It was just so perfect.

  30. Karen (Back Road Journal) May 16, 2021 at 11:23 AM - Reply

    I think saying that you ordered the same thing twice at the restaurant is recommendation enough to give this recipe a try.

    • chef mimi May 16, 2021 at 1:44 PM - Reply

      Exactly!

  31. Kelly | Foodtasia May 17, 2021 at 2:50 PM - Reply

    Such wonderful flavors and textures, Mimi! The pickled strawberries are so intriguing. I have to try it!

    • chef mimi May 17, 2021 at 4:18 PM - Reply

      The whole dish was just incredible. I had to try it at home! The strawberries are really incredible pickled.

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