Thursday, September 8, 2011

Salmon Smothered with Tomatoes and Basil  


This salmon dish is one of my all time favorites because the best flavors of summer shine through – vine-ripe tomatoes and freshly picked basil. Plus it’s healthy, simple to prepare, and deliciously colorful. Did I mention that it also can be made ahead and is good served warm or at room temperature, making it perfect for a buffet. What more could you want in a recipe?

If you think this dish sounds familiar, it is. I first posted it two years ago and it’s still one of my most popular salmon dishes. It is truly summer at its finest and a wonderful way to say au revoir to my most favorite season of the year.

For the tomatoes I’ve used heirlooms. The deep rich color and flavor of Cherokee Purples have made it my favorite heirloom and if you pair them with little yellow pear-shaped cherries, you have a striking color combination. If you don’t have heirloom tomatoes, don’t let that stop you from making this dish. Any garden fresh tomato will work just fine. This is also the time to use the best salt you can find. French fleur de sel has a lovely crunch that goes well with the winey Cherokee Purples. This is the kind of dish you serve when tomatoes are at their peak of freshness. Otherwise, tuck it away for later. Hot house winter tomatoes just will not do in this. So hurry and make this before all of the summer tomatoes disappear.


Salmon Smothered with Tomatoes and Basil - the flavors of summer
Adapted from “Simply Shrimp, Salmon, and Fish Steaks” by Leslie Grover Pendleton and “The 60 Minute Gourmet” by Pierre Franey

1-2 vine-ripe tomatoes, depending on their size, preferably heirlooms
A handful of yellow pear-shaped cherry tomatoes
Fleur de sel (French sea salt)
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 boneless salmon fillet, about 1 ½ lbs, preferably wild caught
Grape seed oil, or any neutral flavored oil

Dice the tomato, season with fleur de sel salt and pepper and transfer it, along with all of its juices, to a bowl. Add the basil, lemon and 1 tablespoon olive oil and combine well. Let the sauce sit while preparing the salmon.


Preheat the broiler. Line a sheet pan or broiler tray with heavy-duty foil for easy clean-up. Arrange the pieces of salmon, skin side down, in one layer on the pan, drizzle with a little oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the salmon under the broiler about six to seven inches away from the source of heat. Broil (on low if you broiler has that setting) about 7 to 10 minutes or just until the pieces are cooked through. It is not necessary to turn the salmon. If it starts to burn, change from broil to bake and bake at 400 degrees until the salmon is done but still a little pink on the inside.

Remove from the oven and, when the salmon cools slightly, carefully slip the skin off with a knife and discard. Slide the salmon onto a platter, what was skin side down, and smother with the tomato and basil mixture. Let it stand for at least 10 minutes to absorb some of the tomato juices before serving. The salmon can stand at room temperature for up to 45 minutes. Serves 4.


This recipe is linked to Fresh Food Friday at La Bella Vita, Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable. Be sure to stop by these great blogs. You’ll find lots of inspiration and delicious dishes.


48 comments:

  1. Your recipes are always so full of freshness and color and bursting through the screen, like this one; makes me want to go get the ingredients and eat this very dish asap.

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  2. I want eat this dish.. so full of color.. so nice.. so good ;-) ! nice to meet you.. I'll follow you! if you want, you are welcome in my blog.. bye!

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  3. I scanned the ingredients, and except for the little yellow pear tomatoes, I've got it all. Even grape seed oil!

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  4. Worthy of a repost! This looks like a fantastic salmon dish :) Love the heirlooms!

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  5. Unfortunately two years ago I didn't know your blog...so I'm really happy to read (today) this easy, but special salmon recipe, have a nice day, Flavia

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  6. Oh Sam we love this too..
    I love fish..i am so happy I do~

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  7. Really love this combination; glad you re posted; I missed it 2 years ago; this is so different for teh regular salmon recipes and the perfect time of teh yer.
    Rita

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  8. Totally irresistible! That is a wonderfully fresh, refined and healthy dish.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. Sam, two of my favorite ingredients... basil and salmon! Miam-miam! I will have to find some more great tomatoes. We have eaten tomato pie (with basil) so many times this summer that my mouth has blisters!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  10. Sounds delicious and looks beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Sam, it looks absolutely exquisite. The colors are so vibrant, I bet the taste was too!

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  12. All the wonderful flavours of summer in one stunning dish. I just adore salmon but this probably work well with halibut or any other firm fish Sam.

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  13. I love everything about this recipe!

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  14. Sounds delicious Sam and your presentation is gorgeous

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  15. Not only delicious but beautiful to look at! Salmon is always our favorite fish to prepare and my cherry tomatoes and basil are still going strong. Can't wait to try this!

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  16. So delicious and beautiful! The colour just shines through my monitor!

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  17. A beautiful dish! Glad to find your site, it's lovely. From a fellow Carolina girl.

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  18. I do make this a lot - bet I got the recipe from you! Grand idea using the heirlooms - they add such vibrancy!

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  19. Perfect for the season -- I have a pot of tomatoes, onions and peppers with lots of basil simmering on the stove just now and the aroma is driving me wild.

    I think we're eating tomatoes at least twice a day just now.

    Gold Medal is a wonderful heirloom tomato that's close to Cherokee Purple in taste -- a beautiful yellow blushed in places with red.

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  20. That looks absolutely fabulous!!! Have a great weekend:)

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  21. What a delicious way to serve salmon! Wild caught Chinook salmon is available at the market right now and I'll get a little basket of cherry tomatoes to go along with it.

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  22. Indeed, a perfect end-of-summer dish. A great way to savor the remaining tomato harvest, and I'm completely with you on how well a salmon dish like this works at room temp. Definitely an easy and practical dish for gracious entertaining, without overworking yourself.

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  23. Oh my goodness, that salmon looks delicious! I'm not surprised that it would be requested. The colors from the vegetables are beautiful. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will try this one. Shannon

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  24. Looks divine! Always colorful and inviting!

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  25. I grew the Cherokee purple this year, first time. Amazing! Also amazing was that I found a ripe tomato at all in our cooler than usual PNW summer!!! Recipes using said tomato, even better!

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  26. Absolutely love how your food is always so colourful, healthy and delicious!

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  27. Wow, salmon itself is great but salmon smothered in shear goodness of veggies and basil is Over the Top! Amazing and the photo speaks just that. It is just beaming with flavor!

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  28. So simple and fresh. I agree with you about Cherokee Purple tomatoes, mine have been outstanding this year. I also grew Black Kirm that are similar in taste.

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  29. I just love that word "smothered!" Such a fresh simple dish - I've been making a similar tomato topping with all the ripe juicy summer tomatoes and serving it with everything!

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  30. Sam look really lovely!! gloria

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  31. I have wild caught salmon in the freezer and all the other ingredients except the tomatoes--tomorrow's market will secure them. What a delicious dish to usher out summer!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  32. Just as I think you can't come up with some more good tomato recipes...here you are...salmon and those luscious, seductive tomatoes! So simple, so clean, so effective and surely...SO delicious, Sam!
    Bises
    Ronelle

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  33. What an fabulous dish, Sam...yet so simple to put together. All the summer flavors over my favorite fish. We're loving the heirlooms right now too, every day for lunch and once in an omelet. Now I'll try them over fish.

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  34. I always find inspiration in your recipes. When I saw the recipe right away it came to my mind the frozen salmon in my freezer. It is an easy recipe and you also mention that it can be made ahead of time. I guess that is what we are having for dinner tonight.

    Thanks for your fresh ideas.

    Mely

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  35. How irresistible! I can't pass up a dish that's so gorgeous, fresh and delectable. I wish I had some delicious heirloom tomatoes left...I'd make this in an instant.

    PS...I don't enjoy green peppers, either :)

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  36. I can just imagine the acidic bite of the tomatoes, perfect for fish.

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  37. Thanks for something so simple. Color takes a dish so far and adds so much anticipation to the eating. This is really beautiful and can certainly be modified lots of different ways depending on what one can get his or her hands on. Bravo!

    Gary

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  38. Sam, this is a real treat for the eyes as well as the tummy. This will be one I will make for sure. I love heirloom tomatoes for their flavors but mostly for their lovely colors.
    Look for this ON THE MENU next week.
    Please share this at OTMM this week. It is so lovely and luscious.
    xo Yvonne

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  39. Oh my gosh - those tomatoes look so fresh and flavorful! I love recipes that incorporate the lovely blossoming ingredients the season had blessed us with, and this beams with that!

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  40. You're going to miss those Cherokee purples when they're gone!

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  41. A very colorful and delicious summery meal!

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  42. I'm so anxious to try new salmon recipes. You've got so many and they all look so delectable! I'm so excited. Thanks for leaving a comment on my Minestrone stew, how very nice of you.

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  43. What beautiful colors of tomatoes! Wow, this dish just sounds fantastic. I agree, fresh tomatoes have to be the star here not hothouse tomatoes.

    So nice to meet you from On The Menu. I would love this on my menu. My tomatoes this summer have been my worst in years, but there is still time to harvest some more.

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  44. This is a wonderful way to say goodbye to Summer, although I'm not quite ready to do so! Lovely salmon dish, definitely worth sharing again;-)

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  45. Sam, what a great way to prepare salmon...indeed looks delicious with fresh tomato and basil...beautiful for the eyes and even better for the taste buds :-)
    Hope you are having a wonderful week!

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Sam