Salmon with Basil Tapenade

A return to French Fridays with Dorie (and Haiku!)

Salmon with Basil Tapenade

Haiku time again!
The salmon always gets me.
Its been a long time

You really don’t need to twist my arm much to get me to try out a new salmon recipe.  I’m always desperate for a new one.  Salmon is served quite regularly in our house despite the ever present danger that it will wear out its welcome  due to over-service.  As far as entree items go, salmon is one that never seems to take a back seat to its own preparation.  I know you know what I mean.  So variability of preparation will go a long way toward preventing what I have come to call “salmon fatigue”.  Therefore when a good recipe comes along I am all over it…and I will alway share it here with you just in case “salmon fatigue” is a universal affliction.

(If you are a sufferer, be sure to check out my Baked Salmon with Thyme and Cranberries post, the only salmon recipe I know worthy of service at a holiday table…and Not So Poached Salmon with Lemon and Herbs.  Both of these recipes get worked pretty hard in order to satisfy our salmon habit.)

And my how time flies!  It was just about a year ago that Ms. Dorie inspired our French Friday’s with Dorie group to take on her Salmon and Tomatoes en Papillote.  This was an easy to prepare salmon preparation wrapped in foil (or parchment ) with an assortment of vegetables, herbs, tomatoes and lemon.   The dish was such a hit at our house that its easy after-work preparation is practically a weekly dinner here.

My weekly salmon
I don’t want to tire of it
So I tried this one.

This Salmon with Basil Tapenade incarnation has olive tapenade mixed with minced basil, lemon juice (and zest), stuffed just prior to a pan fry (for color) and an oven bake to finish.  I took Dorie’s suggestion (natch) and served it over a bed of spinach.  Oh, and I used a fresh green olive tapenade that is made at my local grocery store and sold on weekends.   Green olives go over better in our house than the black ones…
I ask you, what’s not to like?

Salmon with Basil Tapenade

Salmon with Basil Tapenade

I served this up with some of the Saint-German-des-Prés Onion Biscuits I discovered hidden in the back of my freezer.   (These biscuits keep for much longer than she says the do! Trust me.)

Missed you Doristas!
Dedicated cooking group
leader is awol?

Salmon with Basil Tapenade A return to French Fridays with Dorie (and Haiku!)

Salmon with Basil Tapenade A return to French Fridays with Dorie (and Haiku!)

Adapted From “Around My French Table” and “Bookend Babes

This is what you will need:

  • 1/4 cup Black Olive Tapenade (recipe to follow or you may use store bought)
  • 1/4 cup minced basil and/or mint
  • the zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 5oz salmon fillets (skin on and cut from the center portion)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

This is how you make it:

  1. Center a rack in the oven and pre-heat to 450 degrees F.
  2. Pull out an oven proof skillet large enough to hold all 4 pieces of Salmon and set it aside.
  3. In a small bowl stir together the tapenade, 2 tablespoons of the herbs, and half of the lemon zest and juice.
  4. Season with black pepper and taste.
  5. You may not need to add salt as the tapenade is salty.
  6. Spoon out a geneous tablespoon of the tapenade mix and set it aside for the sauce.
  7. Place the remaining tapenade in a zip lock bag, seal the bag and snip off a small corner of the bag.
  8. The tapenade mixture can be made up to 2 days in advance.
  9. Cut two small pockets in each fillet that run paralel to the skin to fill with tapenade.
  10. The easiest way to do this is to lay the fillets skin side down on a cutting board, and using a paring knife cut 2 slits through the fish about 1 long, on either side of the center of the fillet.
  11. Squeeze a little of the tapenade into each pocket, “massaging” the salmon if necessary so that the tapenade fills the pockets evenly without squirting out of the sides.
  12. Season the fillets lightly with salt and pepper.
  13. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the skillet over high heat.
  14. When it’s hot, slip the fish into the pan, top side down, and cook for 2 minutes, then turn the fillets over and cook for 2 more minutes.
  15. This will give the fish a nice color.
  16. Slide the skillet into the oven and roast the fillets for 6 minutes, at which point they should be slightly jiggly in the center.
  17. Set the skillet down on a heat proof surface, cover with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  18. For the sauce, stir 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil into the reserved tapenade (it will look like a thin vinaigrette with specks of olive).
  19. Season to taste with more lemon zest and juice, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of herbs, and finish with salt and pepper.
  20. Serve the salmon with the sauce spooned over it.

About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. This looks really tasty and I don’t even like salmon.

  2. I HAVE missed you!!! Beautifully presented, Trevor…the thing about cranking out posts is the rushing of the photos. Yours are spectacular. I will definitely try your salmon with cranberries and thyme…

  3. How have I missed you?
    Let me count all of the ways
    Nope, can’t count that high

  4. Salmon/ tomatoes,
    This one I did forget.
    Love your serving dish.

    Today is Friday
    The day is going to drag…
    Trevor post breaks rut.

  5. Trevor, So glad you joined us for this one!! Your salmon looks delectable and your photos are gorgeous with great presentation!! I’m with Lizzy…definitely going to try your Salmon with cranberries and thyme!

  6. Very nicely done, Trevor! I forgot all about those amazing biscuits.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Trevor, been to your blog a few times and missed your posts…glad to see you posted today and what a beautiful post it is. The photos of your salmon with spinach are just wonderful – great colors!

  8. We love salmon in this house too. In fact, at one point I went to the fish market and asked them to recommend anything BUT salmon because it seemed like that was the only fish we were ever buying. So yes, apparently salmon fatigue is a universal affliction.

    Your dish looks delicious.

  9. Tired salmon won’t be tolerated
    Rest they must between visits to us
    Just as Trevor and blogging.

    Good to see you:)

  10. Welcome back Trevor! The salmon looks great.

  11. Yes, salmon and haiku were great but I couldn’t help but notice the decoratively cut lemon halves. I mean, wow. It has that old fashion vibe to make the whole platter look very formal. I’ve gotta try that some time.

    Thanks for linking to a few of your favourite salmon recipes! Have you try making gravlax too? It’s all kinds of fun and another option to avoid salmon fatigue. 😉

  12. Glad to see you (and your haikus) back in action! We have salmon pretty regularly, too, so I’m going to check out your recipes.

    As for me:

    salmon for dinner
    hoping to post by midnight
    that lesson unlearned

  13. Oh I agree with you with what’s not to like.

    I felt like I was transported back to my youth when I looked at the lemons. Great dish.

  14. Such a perfect presentation with all the green trimmings. I’m going to get some of the
    green tapenade, it looks so good. Tricia’s family and mine are all salmon lovers, so you can never
    have too many recipes. I’m going to bookmark your suggestions, thanks.

  15. Glad you enjoyed this one and are back at it, too. Always enjoy your posts! 🙂

  16. Yes, Trevor, it’s been a long time so it’s nice to see, this week, that you haven’t lost your touch. Even better that we are back in business at FFWD and you’re able to post your Link. (I am a subscriber, however.) I’m not quite the salmon fan that you are (I liked Susan and John’s white bass idea) but did like this and will try yourt cranberry holiday idea sometime. Don’t be a stranger, as they say, but glad you’re still busy in the kitchen even if you aren’t posting.

  17. So good to see you,
    back with lots of salmon love.
    Trevor’s lemons rock.

    It’s my first haiku in awhile, so you’ll have to cut me some slack. Your salmon with fancy lemons looks amazing!

  18. LOL you carved the LEMON?? 🙂 you are truly dedicated !!! glad you liked it, I think I will try the olive tapenade with green olives too – we LOVE green olives!!

  19. Funny, I still have some of this biscuits in my freezer, too. I’m glad to know they’re good. Thanks for the links to the salmon recipes, I’m always looking for more.