As if we needed another reason to love the little green superfood avocado, recent studies have found that in addition to decreasing the risk of heart disease, eating foods that naturally contain healthy fats can slow the development of diabetes for certain individuals. We can get behind that. Do your body a favor and whip up this sweet and spicy salmon topped with heavenly avocado (both chock-full of healthy fats and other essential vitamins and minerals), which is plucked from the pages of New York Times bestselling author Andie Mitchell’s debut cookbook Eating in the Middle ($15; Read on for the full breakdown.

Brown Sugar & Chili-Rubbed Salmon with Avocado Crema

Serves 4


For the Avocado Crema
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
Pinch of salt

For the Salmon
1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 5-oz. salmon filets
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime, thinly sliced into rounds


For the Avocado Crema

1. In a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, sour cream, lime juice, garlic, parsley, and salt, and pulse until smooth. The consistency should be similar to sour cream–thick, yet spreadable. To thin it, add a tablespoon or two of water and pulse to incorporate. Cover and set aside until ready to serve. The crema will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 day.

For the Salmon

1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Lay the salmon fillets on a clean work surface and sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over each fillet, rubbing it into the flesh on all sides.

2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet set oven medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp of the oil. Add 2 of the salmon fillets (skin side up, if they have skin on) and cook, undisturbed, until their undersides are crisp and just beginning to blacken, about 4 minutes. Flip the fillets and cook until the fish feels firm to the touch, 4 minutes more. Transfer to a warm plate. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil to the pain and swirl to coat. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining 2 fillets of salmon. Set the salmon aside.

3. Add the lime slices to the skillet and cook just until they begin to caramelize, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

4. To serve, divide the salmon fillets among 4 plates and spoon 2 tbsp of crema over each. Press a caramelized lime slice into the crema to garnish.

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