There’s something about when Spring rolls around that I immediately have a desire to cook all things Mediterranean! The extra sunshine and longer days makes me want to cook with all the colours and all the flavours of the Mediterranean. This orzo salad is a staple in my house and can be paired with a protein or just as a stand alone. I like to make a huge batch of it when I do and have it for lunch for the week. A sauce vierge (a simple French sauce that literally means “virgin”) is incredibly versatile and can go with just about any salad and/or fish dish! The base will always be lemon juice, olive oil and tomatoes and then a fresh herb of your choice (typically basil, but I have opted for dill here in order to compliment the salmon).



  • For the Salmon:
  • 4 – 6-8oz salmon fillets, skin on
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • For the Mediterranean Orzo Salad:
  • 1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 large cucumber, chopped
  • 10-15 kalamata olives, pitted & halved
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar, divided
  • For the Dill Sauce Vierge:
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 15 small cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. For the salad: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, once it reaches a boil, add orzo and let cook for 7-9 minutes (or according to package directions).
  2. Once fully cooked; drain the orzo, place in a large bowl and stir in 1 tbsp olive oil (to prevent it from sticking together). Mix together with the olives, cucumbers and feta. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile for the salmon: Pat the salmon fillets dry and generously season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat with Grapeseed oil; once it just starts to smoke, place salmon fillets skin side down. (Separate into two skillets depending on the size of them.)
  5. Cook salmon skin side down until about 90% cooked, about 8 minutes. (In order to achieve a crispy skin, do not move the fillets and allow them to brown before flipping). Flip salmon over and cook for approximately another 2 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside (skin side up).
  6. For the sauce vierge: combine the olive oil, lemon juice, sliced tomatoes and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Plate 1 cup of salad in the centre of the plate and top with the sauce vierge. Serve salmon on top of the salad with the skin side up and circle each plate with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.