Winter Citrus Butter Salmon.

Raise your hand if you’re desperate for some bright color in your life right now.

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In a form other than kale salad or sad grocery store flowers.

Me me me!

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I will just never get over the striking beauty of blood oranges and winter citrus. It’s like the universe KNEW that I needed an almost-hot pink orange come January to make it through the heaviness of winter. Yep. Surely that is it. 100%.

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There was a time, years ago, in what seems like a very far away land in my brain now when I was over the moon with fruit salsas. Especially when it came to seafood. Nothing has changed – err, I mean EVERYTHING has changed in life – but nothing has changed about my love for said quick salsas and certainly nothing has changed with my constant topping on things like salmon and flaky whitefish.


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UGH. It’s cold! It’s dull and dreary right now. If it’s not raining it’s snowing and I’m having a hard time seeing the finish line at the moment and sort of wish it would magically just end up being April like, well, tomorrow. But I also don’t want to wish time away. Ever!

So I’m enveloping myself in this citrusy, buttery winter salmon. Oh my word it’s freaking fantastic.

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The flavor on this filet is just absolutely IN. CREDIBLE.

Two words. It’s necessary. In. and Credible.

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We mix together some brown sugar, salt and lemon zest, then mix that with olive oil to create a lovely sweet and salty citrus rub that goes right on the salmon before broiling. Oh! But we place blood orange slices on the top which also deliver some sweetness and flavor.

Once it’s broiled, we drizzle melty herb butter on top but only because I have no idea when to quit.

And it’s finished with lots of winter citrus salsa. Think more blood orange, cara caras, diced shallot, jalapeño peppers. YEP.

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Things are about to get reeeeealll blood orangey (ew, that’s quite annoying and sounds horrific) on the site this month.

So. I don’t know. It will be like all of my other obsessions that grow and die in 60 days. Except this one doesn’t have a choice to leave since it will be out of season! Get it while it’s hot, for sure. Can I have a blood orange tree when it’s snowing in January?

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Serving ideas: ummm… aside from just standing over the baking sheet, eating this with a fork like a maniac? Let me think.

My favorite way to eat salmon like this is over a huge salad with TONS of feta cheese and maybe even something crunchy, like some sliced almonds. Or, uh, tortilla chips. You choose. I also really like it with brown rice, that old-school but wonderful harvest grain blend from Trader Joe’s (whyyyy is it so good?!) or even a few roasted potato wedges.

However, if you want to go the old standing-with-a-fork-over-the-baking-sheet route, it’s also so delicious flaked on some super crunchy crackers, or flatbread, cheese welcome always. Best ever!

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Yield: 4
Winter Citrus Butter Salmon
Total Time:
30 mins
  • 1 2-pound salmon filet
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 blood orange thinly sliced
herb butter
  • tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs basil, oregano, sage, thyme, etc
  • pinch of salt
winter citrus salsa
  • 1 blood orange segmented and chopped
  • 1 cara cara orange segmented and chopped
  • 1 small shallot diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Preheat the broiler in your oven to high and set the oven rack about 6 inches below it.
  2. Place the salmon on a baking sheet. In a bowl, stir together the brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon zest. Add the olive oil to make a wet rub. Rub the mixture all over the salmon. Place the blood orange slices on top.
  3. Broil the salmon for 6 to 8 minutes, or until just opaque and flakey with a fork. Drizzle with the herb butter and serve with the winter citrus salsa. I also like to eat this on a salad with feta or with a brown rice + quinoa blend!
herb butter
  1. Stir together the melted butter, fresh herbs and salt.
winter citrus salsa
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until combined. This will last for about a day in a sealed container in the fridge.

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Can we even eat something this pretty?