- 4 (6-ounce) fillets sockeye, coho or Chinook salmon, skin on
- 3 tablespoons high-heat oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed and washed
- 1 bulb fennel, julienned
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- Hot cooked pasta of your choice (optional)
Remove the small pin bones from the salmon fillets (a pair of needle nose pliers works great for this). Brush each salmon fillet with a little oil and season with a salt and pepper.
Toss tomatoes and fennel with a splash of oil and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 425° F.
In a heavy “stove-top-to-oven” sauté pan (see note), heat remaining oil over medium heat. Place salmon fillets in the pan and sear for a few seconds. Turn over and sear again for a few seconds. Turn fillets face-side down in the pan and sear for about 2 minutes, or until the surface is golden. Flip the fillets so they’re skin-side down in the pan. Turn off the heat.
Scatter tomatoes and fennel around salmon in the pan and place the pan in the oven. Roast for about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven when salmon feels firm to the touch and the sections of each fillet begins to just slide apart when pressed with your finger. The center of the salmon will still be slightly translucent. Cover salmon loosely with foil or keep in a warm place to rest for a few minutes — the salmon will continue to cook a few more degrees.
To serve: Scatter basil over fish, tomatoes and fennel and drizzle everything with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Scoop salmon off its skin and serve with tomatoes and fennel over hot pasta.
All Clad and Le Creuset make stove-top-to-oven sauté pans. Cast iron pans work well too.