One-Skillet Lemon Butter Salmon with Summer Succotash and Chipotle Honey Mustard Sauce

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This is a delicious, simple, weeknight dinner that actually has a lot of very interesting history behind it.

The Southern staple, succotash, was first introduced by the Native Americans to the early American settlers, who then introduced it to their slaves. Enslaved people had to grow their own crops to eat, and corn and beans were low-maintenance, which was important because they didn’t have a lot of time to work on their own crops after working in their enslaver’s fields all day. Succotash was a staple for enslaved people’s meals, and then it spread across the south and country once they were freed.

In my recipe, I’ve re-worked the construct of succotash, using asparagus, snap peas, and corn instead of lima beans and corn. I’m attempting to pay respect to it’s deep history, instead of taking the easy way out and thinking that I simply invented this recipe out of thin air! Black history plays such a huge role in the way that our cuisine has developed in the United States, and exploring the history of succotash was a really enlightening way to learn a bit more about it.

One-Skillet Lemon Butter Salmon with Summer Succotash and Chipotle Honey Mustard Sauce

Servings 2 to 4 people

Ingredients

Chipotle Honey Mustard Sauce

  • 1/4  cup  Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon  (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tbsp  honey
  • tsp sauce from a can of chipotle en adobo (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp  kosher salt
  • 1/4  cup olive oil 

Salmon and Vegetables

  • 2 to 4  (6-ounce)  skin-on salmon filets  (preferably wild-caught) (buy one filet for each person you’re feeding)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • tbsp  unsalted butter, more if needed
  • 1 bunch  scallions, thinly sliced1 bunch 
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), woody ends removed and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 pound snap peas, cut into thirds  (about ¼-inch pieces)
  • Kernels from 1 large ear of corn (or 1 cup frozen corn)
  • 1/4  cup minced fresh parsley or basil leaves
  • 2 lemons, 1 cut in half, 1 cut into wedges for serving

Substitutions:

  • Stir in 2 tablespoons raspberry, blueberry, or blackberry jam instead of honey to the mustard sauce to make it a Berry Chipotle Mustard Sauce. 
  • Use chicken instead! Sear the same way as the salmon, for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip, and sear on the second side for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until an internal temperature reads 160°F. Transfer chicken to a holding plate and proceed with the recipe. Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces and shingle it over the vegetables when you’re ready to eat.
  • Use tempeh instead! Cut into ½-inch strips, then marinate it in the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the tempeh and marinade into a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and cook for 3 minutes per side, until things are looking very sticky. Transfer tempeh to a holding plate, wipe out the skillet, and proceed with the recipe.

Instructions

  • Place 2 to 4 (6 ounce) salmon filets on a clean paper towel or dish towel and pat until completely dry. Season generously with salt and pepper and allow to come to room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Stir together 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotles en adobo (or a pinch of cayenne. Stirring continuously, stir in ¼ cup olive oil until combined. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Some people like it spicier, some like it more lemon-y, some like it saltier! Do your thing!
  • Warm a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the oil, swirl to coat the pan, and warm for 30 seconds. This step is VERY important, your skillet needs to be properly preheated!
  • [TWO WAYS TO COOK SALMON]
    1. Sashimi style (will be incredibly tender and seem almost like sashimi all the way through): Add salmon to the skillet skin-side down, press down firmly with a spatula for 30 seconds. and cook for 4 minutes, until the skin is very crispy and golden brown. Turn heat down to medium, wait 30 seconds, then add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet and use a spoon to baste the salmon with the melted butter almost continuously for the next 3 to 5 minutes, until an internal thermometer reads between 125°F (medium-rare – ideal in my opinion!) and 140°F (well-done). Do not let your salmon go above 140°F!
    2. Crispy all over (the skin and flesh side will both have a nice crisp, the inside will be flaky versus tender like sashimi, this will be more like what you’d order at a traditional restaurant): Add salmon to the skillet skin-side UP, press down firmly with a spatula for 30 seconds. and cook for 3 minutes, until crispy and golden brown and easy to release from the skillet. Turn heat down to medium and flip salmon. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet, and use a spoon to baste the salmon with the melted butter almost continuously for the next 3 to 4 minutes, until an internal thermometer reads between 125°F (medium-rare – ideal in my opinion!) and 140°F (well-done). Do not let your salmon go above 140°F!
  • Transfer salmon to a holding plate, skin-side up. 
  • If there’s less than 1 tablespoon of melted butter in your skillet, add 1 more tablespoon to the skillet. 
  • Add 1 bunch, thinly sliced scallions, reserving a couple tablespoons for garnish and 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves to the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender. Add 1 pound ¼-inch sliced asparagus and the juice of ½ lemon and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until almost crisp-tender (take a bite!). Add 1 pound sliced snap peas and 1 cup corn kernels and cook until snap peas are bright green, just 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup chopped parsley or basiljuice of ½ lemon1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more butter, salt, lemon juice, or pepper as desired.
  • If needed, nestle salmon into the vegetables, skin-side up to keep it crispy, for a few minutes to re-warm. Serve with lemon wedges. 

Chipotle Honey Mustard Sauce

  • 1/4  cup  Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon  (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tbsp  honey
  • tsp sauce from a can of chipotle en adobo (or a pinch of cayenne pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp  kosher salt
  • 1/4  cup olive oil 

Salmon and Vegetables

  • 2 to 4  (6-ounce)  skin-on salmon filets  (preferably wild-caught) (buy one filet for each person you’re feeding)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • tbsp  unsalted butter, more if needed
  • 1 bunch  scallions, thinly sliced1 bunch 
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), woody ends removed and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1 pound snap peas, cut into thirds  (about ¼-inch pieces)
  • Kernels from 1 large ear of corn (or 1 cup frozen corn)
  • 1/4  cup minced fresh parsley or basil leaves
  • 2 lemons, 1 cut in half, 1 cut into wedges for serving

Substitutions:

  • Stir in 2 tablespoons raspberry, blueberry, or blackberry jam instead of honey to the mustard sauce to make it a Berry Chipotle Mustard Sauce. 
  • Use chicken instead! Sear the same way as the salmon, for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip, and sear on the second side for 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until an internal temperature reads 160°F. Transfer chicken to a holding plate and proceed with the recipe. Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces and shingle it over the vegetables when you’re ready to eat.
  • Use tempeh instead! Cut into ½-inch strips, then marinate it in the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the tempeh and marinade into a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and cook for 3 minutes per side, until things are looking very sticky. Transfer tempeh to a holding plate, wipe out the skillet, and proceed with the recipe.
Author: Caroline Chambers

Join the Conversation

  1. Deanna Moss says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the promising recipe! So many of us are trying to find a meaningful path to navigating our country’s old and lingering problem of systemic racism. It sounds like you’ve found a good one for you, Caroline.

    I’ll look forward to trying this, as I’m on a bit of a salmon jag! Wonderful to see you pursuing your career with such passion and flair!

    Deanna Moss

    What a pleasure to see your

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