Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette

4.25 from 4 votes

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Fancy enough for company, easy enough for a weeknight.

Plate of Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette and grain salad.

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.

Plate of Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette and grain salad.

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.

Grain salad and Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette on a plate.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Shallots
  • Dijon mustard
Silverware next to a plate of Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette and grain salad.

How to Make Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette

  1. Prepare for cooking. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Heat a heavy, ovenproof skillet over high heat, and add the olive oil.
  2. 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).
  3. Make the vinaigrette. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, tarragon, shallots, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.
  4. Serve. Stir or shake the vinaigrette to remix, then pour it over the fish. Serve hot or warm.
White plate of grain salad and Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette.
Place setting with silverware and a plate of Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette and grain salad.

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.

Salmon topped with Tarragon Vinaigrette on a plate with grain salad.

What to Serve with Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette:

This salmon would be a gorgeous, complete meal with this tomato and corn salad, mixed with some grains. It would also pair really nice with Sugar Snap Pea Salad or Air Fryer Green Beans.

File this one under FEFCEEFAW (Fancy Enough for Company, Easy Enough for a Weekday).

Tarragon vinaigrette atop a Salmon filet.

Other Weeknight Salmon Recipes:

Plus even more salmon recipes here!

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4.25 from 4 votes

Salmon with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Fancy enough for company, easy enough for a weeknight.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 People
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Ingredients 

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

For the Tarragon Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Tips for Cooking Salmon

I 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

Calories: 411kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 92mg, Potassium: 973mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 232IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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5 Comments

  1. Joy says:

    Use this vinaigrette for everything! Delicious!

  2. Lloyd says:

    The ratios are wrong. 2 T of shallots are absurd. I would cut that back by at least half and maybe more. I added a teaspoon of fresh dill. That was also nice.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      I happen to like shallots, but you are of course welcome to adjust!

  3. Jnet says:

    Sounds like a great recipe. But please tell us what type of vinegar works best and how much you used. I would use white wine vinegar and the 3:1 ratio for a vinaigrette which would be a little over a tablespoon. I think, me and ratios are not friends. Also, please rewrite the instructions for #3. This way everyone can enjoy the recipe!

    1. Katie Workman says:

      so sorry for the confusion! there is no vinegar in the original recipe, just lemon and orange juice BUT you can sub in the white wine vinegar for the lemon juice – I would still keep the orange juice though, if possible, because the citrus is what makes this dressing special!