Salmon with Olive and Walnut Relish

I don’t know what’s happening, but I have been craving salmon like crazy lately, and my recipe for Salmon with Olive and Walnut Relish truly satisfies. About four times a week, I eat smoked salmon, avocado and strawberries for breakfast, so it’s odd that I would also crave salmon for dinner, too. But what can I say…I can’t seem to get enough.

Happily, the relish part of this recipe can be made in a huge batch well ahead of time, which means, cooking the salmon is really the only requirement to getting this dish on the table. Salmon sears quickly on the stove, getting the beautifully golden crust. I mean, it’s no wonder I’m craving so much salmon, is it?

Bowl of Olive-Walnut Relish alongside tray of seared salmon

Another fun tip, the olive-walnut relish also makes a great party dish. I enjoy making this as spread for crackers or crostini because it’s healthy and vegan, providing a healthier alternative to the usual cheese, sour cream or mayo-based dips found at most parties. Not that those aren’t also delish, but this provides a vibrant and tasty option that’s guilt-free.

Olive-Walnut Relish atop a cracker shown with tray of seared salmon in the background.

Not that I need to overload you with alternatives, but that’s just how truly adaptable and versatile this recipe is. Here are a few other tips to make this even more convenient:

  • Swap the lemon juice for white balsamic or white wine vinegar
  • Use Kalamata olives instead of Calestravano
  • Walnuts can be subbed with pistachio or almonds
  • Instead of both basil or parsley, just use one.

As you can see, this is the type of recipe that gives me loads of options, which I always love. I purposely make extra so I can enjoy leftovers, which taste great tossed with warm pasta. Or, even easier, flake the cold extra salmon into a hearty salad, or make this salmon salad recipe here! I’m telling ya, it just keeps on giving! I hope you will try it and see for yourself!

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Tray of Seared Salmon topped with Green Olive and Walnut Relish

Seared Salmon with Olive-Walnut Relish

  • Author: Emily Brooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Seafood


  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon filets
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup pitted Calestravano Olives (about 5.5 ounces), finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest



  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle flesh side of salmon with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; place flesh-side-down in skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes or until salmon is golden brown. Transfer salmon to prepared baking pan, flesh-side-up. Place in oven and cook 5-7 minutes, depending on thickness.  Salmon is best served medium-rare inside, but if you prefer it cooked all the way through, an instant read thermometer should reach 145°,
  3. In medium bowl, stir olives, walnuts, basil, parsley, shallot, lemon juice, zest, and ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; stir in ¼ cup olive oil. Makes about 1½ cup.
  4. Serve salmon topped with olive relish.

Keywords: gluten free, dairy free, pescatarian, salmon

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