I was tasked with making dinner the other night, and had absolutely no idea what to prepare. I had fresh salmon to work with, which was a step in the right direction, but when I opened my fridge and pantry, I just didn’t feel inspired by any of the ingredients I had on deck. Unless you have superpowers, I think we all feel this way at times, am I right?
I didn’t want to make my typical go-to salmon recipes, so I took to the internet to get some ideas for something new, fresh and exciting. I also had the extra layer of making sure my kids would enjoy it, so that was a consideration.
After some poking around, I came across a recipe called Tuscan Salmon. How did I not know about this? It’s all of my favorite things in a dish… tender, flaky fish, garlic, heavy cream, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and Parmesan cheese. Additionally, it’s quick to prepare, making it a great weeknight option, and delicious to boot! It’s also made in one pan, so the cleanup is fast.
As I was taking inventory of the ingredients in my kitchen, the Frank Sinatra song, I Did it My Way, kept floating through my head because I had to improvise with what I had on hand, which was red peppers, artichokes, peas and basil. This version of the dish was fabulous, and it just goes to show you that you can sub out/in any ingredients you like based on what you have on hand. My recipe reflects the changes I made at home, so please feel free to alter the recipe as desired.
The portion of the recipe that can be most challenging is searing the salmon, so let’s talk about that technique. Searing fish in a hot pan can be intimidating, but the key is to make sure you get your pan hot enough so the fish doesn’t stick. You also want to use an oil that can tolerate high heat such as grapeseed, canola or vegetable oil. Once you see signs that your oil is hot (look for a shimmer and/or little whisps of smoke), carefully lay the fillets in the pan away from you, presentation side down. Cook the salmon for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
I like using a fish spatula to flip my fish, which is actually one of my favorite tools in my kitchen. The spatula is thin making it very easy to slide right under the fillets.
The key to not splashing yourself with oil when flipping the fish, is to place your fingers on the top side of the fish first. Slide the spatula under the fish, lift the fillet up, and carefully lay it on the other side. Just be sure you get your fingers out of the way before they touch the oil. Yes, your hands get pretty close to the pan, but just take it nice and slow to prevent the oil from splattering. Cook the fish for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, and set aside on a plate. They will eventually make their way back into the pan, so don’t worry if they need any extra minute or two to cook.
This technique works with any type of flat or round fish, and especially scallops. The caramelized crust that develops on the fish creates a sweet and flavorful crust that can’t be beat.
I served our version of Tuscan Salmon with rice to soak up the creamy sauce, but pasta would be absolutely amazing, too.
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Active time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 40 minutes
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Four 5- to 6-ounce salmon fillets, boneless and skinless
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
2 shallots or 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 roasted red pepper, cut into strips (see note, below)
1/2 cup quartered artichokes
1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the grapeseed oil.
2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper to taste, and sear, presentation side down, until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and repeat. Transfer the salmon to a plate, and set aside.
3. Drain any remaining fat from the pan, and wipe clean.
4. Return the pan to medium heat, and add the butter. Gently sauté the shallots or onions until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook an additional 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the chicken stock, heavy cream, roasted peppers and artichokes. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer, and cook until the cream is of a coating consistency.
6. Return the salmon to the pan, and cook until heated through and cooked to your liking. Note: An internal temperature of medium is ideal for salmon.
7. Stir in the peas, parmesan cheese and basil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To roast a pepper, place it directly on your gas burner and cook, turning occasionally, until the skin is completely blackened on all sides. Place the pepper in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam for about 15 minutes. Remove the skin and seeds from the pepper, resisting the urge to rinse it, and cut as needed for your recipe.
Looking to learn the process of searing fish? Join us for our Virtual Keto Cooking Demo or our Virtual Date Night Aphrodisiacs classes for a firsthand experience at how to properly sear salmon. We’ll show you all of the tips and tricks, so you can successfully make this delicious recipe at home!