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Mediterranean Blackened Salmon with Pomegranate Salsa and Grilled Lemon Halves

Mediterranean Blackened Salmon Recipe with Pomegranate Salsa

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5 from 17 reviews


Blackened Salmon with a warm Mediterranean seasoning mix. Served with a splash of lemon juice and bold pomegranate salsa. You can make blackened salmon in the oven under the broiler as stated in the recipe, or pan-seared in a skillet (see the recipe notes for pan-searing instructions.)



For Pomegranate Salsa

  • 2 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large pomegranate, arils (seeds) of
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 10 to 15 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Large handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil, a generous drizzle

For Salmon


  1. Make the pomegranate salsa. In a mixing bowl, combine salsa ingredients. Mix and set aside for now.
  2. Preheat broiler and set oven rack about 6 inches below broiler element. Meanwhile, in a small shallow bowl, stir together spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, aleppo pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne).
  3. Season Salmon. Pat salmon dry very well. Season with salt and pepper (if using salmon fillet with no skin, season both sides.) Apply the spice mixture all over salmon flesh (I used salmon with skin, so applied the entire spice mixture to the flesh side.)
  4. Broil. Place salmon in lightly-oiled cast iron skillet or a sheet-pan. Broil salmon until browned on top and the center registers 115 to 125°F for medium-rare to medium, about 5 minutes or so (Tip: some, not all, ovens cycle broiler through on and off. You want the broiler on the entire time for this. It can help to crack oven door open very slightly to prevent broiler from cycling on and off.)
  5. Check for doneness. If salmon becomes browned on top, but center is not cooked enough, then switch broiler off and set oven to 425 degrees F then continue cooking until done (shouldn't be more than 1 to 2 minutes longer depending on your oven.)
  6. Grill Lemon Halves. While salmon is cooking, heat a small skillet (do not add any oil). Grill lemon halves, flesh-side down, for a few minutes until browned. Remove from heat (this is totally optional, but highly recommended.)
  7. Serve. When salmon is ready, remove from heat. Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice on top (from grilled lemon halves.) Serve with pomegranate salsa and Lebanese rice (or your favorite grain.)


  • Pro-tip: Ovens do vary, so adjust cooking time as needed.
  • Pro-tip for Leftovers: Refrigerate leftover blackened salmon in a glass container with a tight lid. In my book, this blackened salmon makes the perfect cold lunch the next day. Throw it in with a favorite salad and you're good to go. You can bring it a little closer to room temperature, but I would not recommend reheating.
  • Pro-tip: Option for Pan-Seared Blackened Salmon. Making blackened salmon in a pan can be tricky and requires a little more technique but is doable. You can season the salmon the same way. And it is best to use center-cut salmon with skin on. It's very important to start with a hot pan, otherwise the salmon will stick and it will be nearly impossible to flip.
  • Here is How to Make Pan-Seared Blackened Salmon:
  1. Preheat a cast-iron skillet with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high until oil is shimmering but not smoking.
  2. Lower heat to medium-low and carefully add salmon, skin-side down. Using a slotted spatula, gently, but firmly, press on the flesh for about 10 seconds (this will help it retain its shape and prevent it from curling.)
  3. Cook salmon about 90% of the way through with the skin side down (you should see a translucent medium-rare center. Insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the flesh and it should register 120 degrees F (or 49 degrees C). For a large fish fillet, this could take 6 minutes or so (you’ll need to be watchful.)
  4. Carefully flip salmon over using a spatula (if you’re doing the whole large fillet, adding another spatula or fork on top helps.)
  5. Cook very briefly on the flesh-side (a few seconds is all you need, since it’s almost cooked through.)
  6. Transfer salmon to a tray lined with paper towel to drain all excess oil. Let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Again, serve with a squeeze of lemon juice (from those grilled lemons) and pomegranate salsa.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Broiled or Pan-Seared
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean