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Grilled Salmon Sandwiches With Pesto Avocado Spread & A Grilled Apricot & Prosciutto Salad.

Grilled Salmon Sandwich With Pesto & Avocado Spread

Even though it’s been feeling like Summer for a couple of months already, I am finally getting into the hot days groove seeing all the Summer produce at the market. Strawberry season is at an end. Peaches and plums have been on the stands for weeks and I got my first taste of cherries the other day. Apricots are finding their way in just about everything we eat.

Raw Salmon

There’s lots of grilling on. The air conditioning does not prevent any roasting or stove cooking but at the end of a long day shooting, I want nothing more than sitting on the back deck with a glass of wine, a few pages of my book and the smoky scents of the grill beside me.

Making Guacamole

With Bill home now that the school year is over (he’s a professor by day, musician by night), there is plenty of time and one more person to share recipes I want to try. During the year, lunch is pretty much a singleton affair unless I am on location or it’s the weekend and he’s home. But comes Summer and I want to be a tad more creative than my everyday salad-protein combo.


As enticing as a Nicoise salad is, a watermelon radish salad, an heirloom tomato salad, a poached salmon and quinoa salad, a roasted veggie salad do sound. I want to try my hand at interesting sauces and sandwiches. I never make sandwiches when having lunch on my own but he likes them. And I like cooking. No better time than to venture out and make something fresh and tasty like a Grilled Salmon and Pesto Sandwich with a peppery basil and avocado pesto.

Salad Fixings

The pesto avocado spread came about on the fly really. As it happens many times when cooking savory dishes. I had just made a lot of pesto from our wild growing basil plant and I had some leftover guacamole from the evening before. Put the two together and you have something incredibly smooth, creamy and with a little garlicky-peppery bite to it. Add a side salad and you have one perfect lunch.

While It Rained...

I admit, with the heat around and my loopy schedule this whole summer, sometimes it is much easier to fix a big salad, throw a bunch of good looking veggies together and sit down together for a little bit. One salad that I like to serve as an appetizer to guests during the summer has found its way to our main course list lately. An easy to put together and super refreshing Grilled Apricot, Mozzarella & Prosciutto Salad.

Lemon Thyme

We are grilling and roasting lots of stone fruits lately. I like to make this salad with slices of ripe cantaloupe, like my mama used to make, but adding apricots brings it ever so much closer to home. Apricots and good bit of fresh chopped lemon thyme. I do miss the apricot tree we used to have in the front yard in Provence. Perched on its branches, I would count the number of ripe apricots I could start taking home so mom could make a tart.

Grilled Apricots

Double up on the ingredients and you have enough for a main meal which will keep your energy up for a long while. I love this salad because it can double up as nifty little tartines when you are ready to serve appetizers and a nice cold beverage to your guests. Simply layer the ingredients (minus the salad) on the toasts and place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and the proscuitto crisps up.

Happy first day of summer! I am looking forward to spending a few refreshing days next week in New Hampshire where I will be teaching a couple of food photography workshop! Hope to see you at Squam Arts Workshops if you are attending!

Grilled Apricots, Mozarella & Prosciutto Salad

Grilled Salmon Sandwiches With Pesto Avocado Spread:

Serves 2

For the pesto avocado spread:
1 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup guacamole (or substitute 1/4 to 1/2 avocado)

In a food processor, pulse all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Reserve.

For the Sandwiches:
4 oz salmon fillet (skin on)
basil, parsley, thyme
lemon slices
4 slices whole grain or gluten free bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large tomato or 2 small vine ripe ones, cut into thin slices (I like the small Campari)
handful arugula
pesto & avocado spread

Place the slamon on a grilling rack or pan (we use this one) and place a few leaves of basil, parsley, thyme, right on the flesh. Add some lemon slices. Place skin down on the grill over medium flames and cook until the fish is completely cooked through (about 8 to 10 minutes) without flipping it. Remove from the grill and discard the skin. Let cool for a few minutes and flake the salmon in a small bowl.
Brush the bread with the olive oil and grill until crispy and toasty.
Start assembling the sandwiches by spreading the pesto-avocado cream on each toast, then layering arugula, tomato slices and salmon on one slice of bread. Top with the second and repeat for the other sandwich. Eat up!

Grilled Apricots, Mozzarella and Prosciutto Salad:

Serves 4

4 apricots, halved and pit discarded
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 sprigs lemon thyme, chopped
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella, cut into thin slices
8 thin slices of prosciutto
big handful arugula
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper

Brush the inside of the apricots with the olive oil ad place directly on the grill over medium high flames. Grill for 3-4 minutes or until you get nice grill marks and the apricots start to cook (but don’t let them get mushy), flip them and cook an extra 2 minutes. Remove from the grill, place on a place and sprinkle with the chopped lemon thyme. Reserve.
For each person, place a couple of apricot halves on a plate, a few slices of mozzarella, a couple of slices of prosciutto and some arugula. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, add some salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

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The Church Cook June 1, 2012 um 3:17 pm

The attendees at the workshop will be truly blessed to have you as their teacher! BEAUTIFUL images as always. Love you, Helene!

Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits June 1, 2012 um 6:33 pm


I just purchased your food photography/styling book about a week ago. It is an indispensable resource! I've read it cover to cover and keep in my camera bag. Thank you for sharing your gift of photography.

Anonymous June 1, 2012 um 7:57 pm

The avocado pesto sounds delicious and those apricots look so sweet and delicious…I can't wait til the farmer's market by my house opens. Unfortunately they are waiting til late June- but I love your Charleston farmer's market finds and photographs.

Giulia June 1, 2012 um 8:03 pm

Lovely shots and lovely food. Because you are south of us you give me great ideas to try later in the year – up here in Canada we have to be a bit patient with our produce – strawberries are not even ready yet!

Unknown June 1, 2012 um 9:09 pm

This looks absolutely delicious.

Anonymous June 1, 2012 um 9:40 pm

Oh it looks ekstremly delicious! Love the salomon sandwiches! Thank for the inspiration, have a wondeful weekend.

Unknown June 2, 2012 um 11:07 am

What a fabulous meal!

Liz Rueven June 2, 2012 um 11:57 am

Your season is about 3-4 weeks ahead of ours in CT. You tease with this preview of all the abundant fruits we are waiting for! DELICIOUS and GORGEOUS!

Vicki Bensinger June 2, 2012 um 12:58 pm

This all sounds delicious. I especially love the pesto avocado spread. It's different and packed with flavor. I'm sure your hubby was thrilled to have this lovely meal while dining with you on the deck. Sounds like a perfect afternoon!

Yami June 2, 2012 um 1:54 pm

Delicious sandwish and the pictures beuatifully taken we coud not expect less. I have purchased your book Plate To Pixel and I love every page of it. Thank you so much for being so inspiring to me. Yami

Kim Bee June 2, 2012 um 3:45 pm

What a great meal. If Bill is ever unavailable for lunch I'd gladly join you, especially when you cook delicious food like this. The photos are stunning as always.

Jen @ Savory Simple June 2, 2012 um 6:13 pm

I need to get my hands on some cherries! I wish the season was longer here. Beautiful photos, as always.

Bree June 2, 2012 um 6:37 pm

Absolutely gogeous! (Looks like it tastes pretty good too!)

Anonymous June 2, 2012 um 8:15 pm

wow that looks so delicious! i love salmon — so healthy and flavorful! your photos are stunning! thanks for sharing!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures June 2, 2012 um 8:59 pm

This seriously looks like the best meal EVER!!!!!!

Laura June 3, 2012 um 5:05 pm

Um, yes please!

Lotta June 4, 2012 um 11:25 am

Wow, your blog is so lovely and a like your pic´s very mutch!!
Have a nice day and welcome to visit my blog.

Margaret@Kitchen Frau June 4, 2012 um 3:38 pm

Every photo is wow and every recipe makes me hungry!

Kiran @ June 4, 2012 um 9:16 pm

Just had lunch, but cannot stop drooling over those delicious sandwiches and that grilled peaches. YUM!

Rocky Mountain Woman June 4, 2012 um 10:34 pm

I did a steak sandwich with grilled steak and avocado pesto spread this weekend and loved it.

Gotta try this salmon, definitely my kind of sandwich!

ChichaJo June 5, 2012 um 6:55 am

This is really lovely…I love all salads that involve grilled fruit 🙂

Over here it is actually the end of summer! And though I will certainly miss the beach weekends we are looking forward to (hopefully!) cooler weather 🙂

Seanna Lea June 5, 2012 um 1:53 pm

Your salad looks awesome even though I don't eat meat. I'll have to find something that can take the place of the salty prosciutto component.

Anonymous June 5, 2012 um 4:23 pm

Wow!!!!!! These pictures and recipes are sooOoOo mouthwatering… and what beautiful recollections… I'm so ready for summer, and what perfect tastes to kick off the season! Thank you and safe trip to New Hampshire!

Jenny @ BAKE June 11, 2012 um 8:09 am

avocado pesto sounds absolutely incredible!

Unknown June 29, 2012 um 6:55 am


I must know, where did you get that beautiful platter that the grilled apricots are on? I adore it!! 🙂

Sonia August 7, 2012 um 4:11 pm

Helene, I prepared this sandwich this week and it was delicious. Thank you very much for the recipe!

I take this opportunity to tell you that I have purchased your book several months ago and I enjoy every day …. thanks!

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