There's a Brazilian BBQ restaurant that I love visiting not for the meat but for their pineapple. Yes, the pineapple. Granted it's not just an ordinary pineapple. They sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the fruit and put it on the rotisserie so that the outside is beautifully caramelized. It's divine. And so, I took that idea and decided to pair it with salmon to create this BBQ spiced salmon with caramelized pineapple. Drizzle a charred lemon dressing on the spiced fish, serve it with sweet pineapple and you have one fun tropical dinner.
BBQ Spiced Salmon with Caramelized Pineapple
- 1 lb salmon
- ½ tbsp brown sugar
- ½ tbsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper
Charred lemon dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 lemon cut in half
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- ¼ cup basil chopped
- 2 tbsp chives chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 pineapple sliced into ½ inch thick slices
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine the spices for the salmon (brown sugar - black pepper) and sprinkle on the salmon in an even layer. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the lemon with the cut side facing down and cook until browned and slightly charred, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour the olive oil into a bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice into the same bowl, discarding the lemons. Add the chopped parsley, basil, and chives to the lemon oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Roast the salmon for 12-15 minutes or until the flesh flakes easily with a fork. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the pineapple. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Lay the pineapple in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on both sides. Bake the pineapple for 10 minutes. Flip the pineapple over and bake for another 10 minutes or until caramelized.
- Transfer the salmon to a serving platter and drizzle the charred lemon dressing on top followed by the caramelized pineapple. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
As much as I love salmon, it can become boring. So many restaurants prepare salmon the same way with the same typical sauces. I wanted something different and appropriate for summer so I decided to whip up a bbq spiced salmon with caramelized pineapple and charred lemon dressing. The spices may seem ordinary but the dressing and pineapple really take it up a notch.
To prepare this dish, first, marinate the salmon. Combine all of the spices including brown sugar, paprika, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Sprinkle a generous amount of the spice mix on the salmon and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
I like to make a big batch of this bbq spice mix and use it on chicken, shrimp, steak, or even pork tenderloins. This recipe makes a little extra so you can save that extra bit and use it on whatever you like!
While the salmon is absorbing all those wonderful flavors, make the charred lemon dressing. Heat oil in a saute pan and place the lemon halves cut side down in the pan. Cook the lemon until it's browned and lightly charred on the bottom.
When you char the lemon before squeezing the juice, the juices become sweeter. It's very lovely if I do say so myself.
Squeeze all of that lemon juice and combine it with the oil from the pan, chopped fresh herbs, salt, and pepper. It's a very simple dressing but pairs wonderfully with the heavily spiced fish.
Now I don't have a rotisserie so I couldn't caramelize the pineapple exactly how the Brazilian restaurant does. I improvised by slicing the pineapple, sprinkling cinnamon sugar on top, and baking it until the sugars caramelize. Make sure to flip the pineapple halfway through the cooking process so that both sides have a chance to caramelize.
By now the salmon should be ready. Bake the salmon until the fish flakes easily, about 12-15 minutes. You can also grill the salmon or cook it on the stovetop.
Let the fish sit for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a serving platter and drizzle the charred lemon dressing on top. Garnish with the caramelized pineapple and serve!
If I served this bbq spiced salmon just by itself, I wouldn't be impressed. However, the bright herby dressing brings life to the salmon and the caramelized pineapple just takes it to the next level. This dish is anything but boring!
For more salmon inspiration check out this Thai bbq salmon with Thai chimichurri!