There are a lot of things I could say about this salmon and rainbow swiss chard recipe, but I’ll start off with the most important: ONE PAN. You make the whole thing in a single skillet, so there is little to clean up at the end. It is also fast and easy to make, so it is perfect for busy nights, and packed with micronutrients you need for optimal health while following healing diets like the autoimmune protocol (AIP), specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), Wahl’s protocol, pescatarian, “pegan,” Mediterranean diet, or even a basic ketogenic diet.
Oh, and of course… It’s delicious! Chard is one of my favorite leafy greens (and it happens to be growing beautifully in my urban garden bed right now). I’ve quickly sauteed it here with a couple garlic cloves, a squeeze of lemon, and some fresh tarragon from the herb garden to make a flavorful but still light accompaniment to wild caught salmon.
Wild caught vs. farm raised salmon
This recipe specifically uses wild caught salmon, which I encourage all of my nutrition clients to include in their diets as much as possible. Wild caught salmon is a better choice for the environment and it offers a better ratio of the anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids to the pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids than its farm raised salmon, and it contains more of the antioxidant astaxanthin that gives falmon it’s dark pink color.
However, I also try to make it very clear to my clients that ANY fish is better than NO fish in their diet. Even farm-raised salmon will provide you with nutrients you need, so don’t despair if wild caught salmon is not available or within your budget. Don’t ever let your quest for dietary “perfection” become a hindrance to having a “good” diet!
From a culinary perspective however, it is always a good idea to match the source of your salmon to whatever the recipe was developed for. Generally speaking, wild salmon is cooked to a lower temperature because it is less fatty and gets dry if cooked longer. If you use farm-raised salmon in this recipe, you might prefer it to be a bit more well done so adapt the timing of this recipe accordingly.
Looking for more salmon recipes?
Try some of these AIP-friendly dishes…
One Pan Salmon & Chard Recipe
- 2 pounds rainbow swiss chard
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (divided)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, minced
- salt to taste
- 1 pound wild caught salmon, cut into 4 serving pieces
- Cut off the stems of the rainbow chard and cut into 1 inch pieces. Cut the leaves into strips, about 1 inch wide.
- Heat 1 tablespoon avocado oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- When hot, add the chard stems and the sliced garlic cloves. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes. Add the leaves and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes or until leaves and wilted and stems are soft but still have a bit of crunch to them.
- Off heat, stir in lemon juice and most of the minced tarragon (reserving a little bit to garnish the salmon at the end). Remove cooked chard from pan for serving and wipe with a paper towel.
- Return now empty skillet to medium high heat and add remaining tablespoon avocado oil.
- When oil is hot, gently place salmon pieces in pan, skin side down.
- Allow to cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 minutes more on the other side.
- Sprinkle with remaining chopped tarragon.
- Remove salmon from pan for serving with cooked chard.
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