A good piece of fish needs very little to make it perfect. Here, the brisk, anisey-tangy flavor of the tarragon vinaigrette is a wonderful complement to the rich lushness of salmon filets. If you start with excellent salmon and super fresh herbs, and don’t overcook the fish, you cannot mess this up. A less is more dish.
The mix of orange and lemon juices in the vinaigrette gives it a really nice balance of sweetness and tanginess. If you are in possession of a Meyer lemon, you could use that juice in place of the mix, and get to similar results Not exactly the same, that’s not the point, but something else wonderful.
- Salmon – 4 6-ounce fillets of 1-inch thick salmon, preferably wild, skin on if desired
- Olive oil
- Orange and lemon juice – preferably fresh, and you can use lime instead of lemon juice
- Minced tarragon leaves – fresh is absolutely best here
- Dijon mustard
How to Make Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette
- Prepare for cooking. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Heat a heavy, ovenproof skillet over high heat, and add the olive oil.
- Prepare the salmon. Brush the salmon with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan skin side down (if relevant). Sear for about 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and roast for 5 to 8 minutes, until done to your liking (check out this video, it’s so helpful).
- Make the vinaigrette. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, tarragon, shallots, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.
- Serve. Stir or shake the vinaigrette to remix, then pour it over the fish. Serve hot or warm.
If you like your salmon cooked all the way through, that’s super fine, cook it how you like it. Having shared that, I think there is nothing finer than a piece of salmon with some dark pinkness inside.
What to Serve with Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette:
File this one under FEFCEEFAW (Fancy Enough for Company, Easy Enough for a Weekday).
Other Weeknight Salmon Recipes:
- Salmon Panzanella
- Salmon with Polenta and Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
- Citrus Marinated Salmon with Zesty Sauce
- Grilled Salmon
- Orange Salmon with Leeks and Mushrooms
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Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette
For the Salmon
- 4 6-ounce fillets of salmon, 1-inch thick preferably wild, skin on if desired
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for brushing
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Heat a heavy, ovenproof skillet over high heat, and add the olive oil.
- Brush some olive oil over each piece of salmon, and season with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan skin side down (if relevant). Allow to sear, without moving, in the pan for about 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and roast for 5 to 8 minutes, until done to your liking (check out this video, it’s so helpful).
- While the salmon is cooking, in a small container combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, tarragon, shallots, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Shake to blend well.
- Transfer the fish to a serving platter or individual plates. Shake the vinaigrette to remix, then pour it over the fish. Serve hot or warm.
Tips for Cooking SalmonI love starting fish in a pan (make sure your fish is fairly thick, about 1-inch or even thicker), then transferring it to a stove to finish cooking. Here’s are the three main reasons why: 1) You can use the oven to cook something else to go with the fish – whether it be roasted potatoes or other vegetables. 2) Starting the fish in the pan means that if you are cooking fish with skin on it, you can get that pan screaming hot before you add the fish, so that when the skin hits the pan it starts to crisp up immediately, and then stays crisp and delicious and great to eat. Soft fish skin = not good. Crisp fish skin = a truly fabulous counterpoint to a well cooked soft, delicate fish 3) You don’t have to flip the fish, which even for the most confident and experienced cooks doesn’t always end well.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.