Pan-roasted Fillet of Wild Salmon with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Fennel
- 4 fillets of wild sockeye or king salmon, about 6 ounces each, skin on Add to list
- 3 tablespoons high-heat vegetable oil Add to list
- Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked pepper Add to list
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed and washed Add to list
- 1 bulb fennel, julienned Add to list
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil Add to list
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling Add to list
- Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling Add to list
- Hot cooked pasta of your choice Add to list
Remove the small pin bones from the salmon fillets. (A pair of needle nose pliers works great for this.)
Brush each salmon fillet with a little oil and season with a little salt and pepper. You may add a pinch of fresh herbs or fennel seed if you like. Toss the tomatoes and fennel with a splash of oil and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 425° F.
In a heavy “stove-top-to-oven” sauté pan (see note), heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Place the salmon fillets in the pan and sear for a few seconds. Turn them over and sear again for a few seconds. Turn the salmon fillets face-side down in the pan and sear for about 2 minutes, or until the surface is golden. Flip the fillets so they’re skin-side down in the pan. Turn off the heat.
Scatter the tomatoes and fennel around the salmon in the pan and place the pan in the oven. Roast for about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven when the salmon feels firm to the touch and the sections of each fillet begins to just slide apart when pressed with your finger. The center of the salmon will still be slightly translucent. Cover the salmon loosely with foil or keep in a warm place to rest for a few minutes — the salmon will continue to cook a few more degrees.
To serve: Scatter the basil over the fish, tomatoes and fennel and drizzle everything with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Scoop the salmon off its skin and serve with the tomatoes and fennel over hot pasta.
All Clad and Le Creuset make stove-top-to-oven sauté pans. Cast iron pans work well too.