Being downright lucky to be driving through Napa Valley vineyards, where the yellow mustard is already beginning to bloom between the dormant vines and bright green grass, we are inspired with new beginnings.  At this time of year, Napa winery tours wind down on weekdays, creating special moments for visitors joining a Join-In tour or private wine tour in Napa Valley.

Overindulge in December?  Yeah, us too.

The freshness in the vineyards inspires us to turn to lighter fare after those indulgent holiday meals and guilty little treats.  This month’s recipe is high in protein, low in fat and heart healthy.  Not a fan of salmon, swap for your favorite fish like trout or halibut.


TOTAL TIME: 20-30 minutes

Serves 2 (just double your ingredients to serve a family of 4)

  • 2 4 oz salmon fillets, skin on ok
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Cilantro, fresh, small bunch, divided (½ finely chopped, ½ coarsely chopped)
  • 1 lime zest + juice
  • 1 small chili pepper, finely diced, optional, jalapeno or serrano (alt. dried chili flakes)
  • 3 celery ribs, end removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 pear, medium ripe, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup unsalted nuts, cashews, walnuts, or your favorite nut, roughly chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1tbls white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mix minced garlic, ½ bunch finely chopped cilantro, lime zest, 1 tbls lime juice, oil and minced chili, if using, to taste.
  • Season topping with salt and pepper, mix thoroughly and let stand while preparing rest of meal.
  • Drain fish on paper towel, season with salt and pepper.
  • Pan method:
    • In a medium frying pan, heat 1 tbls of oil over medium heat. Reduce heat a bit if oil starts to smoke.
    • Add fish, skin side down and cook for 4 minutes. Carefully turn over and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.  Fish is done when flesh become opaque and starts to flake.
  • Oven method, toaster oven ok:
    • Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
    • In shallow rimmed pan, lined with parchment, add fish, skin side down and bake for 10 minutes. Fish is done when flesh become opaque and starts to flake.
  • Mix celery, pear, green onions, all thinly sliced. Add roughly chopped nuts, if using, white wine vinegar, 2 tsp oil.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer cooked fish to plate, add a dollop of topping, reserving remaining topping for the table.  Serve with pear salad on the side.


The natural go-to for pairing wine with fish is white wine.  If you reach for a white wine, consider a full-bodied white like Chardonnay or Viognier.  Looking to mix it up a bit?  Our favorite is a lightly chilled Pinot Noir.

Inspired to take your own trip through the fresh Napa Valley vineyards?  Visitors are fewer this time of year creating a perfect opportunity to schedule a few Napa wine tours.  Looking for even a more intimate experience?  Consider making your next trip a private wine tour in Napa.  Platypus offers both group join-in wine tours and intimate private wine tours.

For information and to make reservations, visit the Platypus Wine Tours website. You can also phone Platypus at +1-707-253-2723