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Herb-Crusted Sautéed Salmon Fillets With Pistou

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“The basil Pistou is a wonderful combination with the fresh salmon! Don't be scared by the long list of instructions -- it is actually quite simple to prepare. Recipe courtesy of Sara Moulton.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pistou: Make the pistou within an hour of cooking the salmon, if made sooner it will lose color.
  2. Bring 2 quarts of water to a rapid boil with 2 tablespoons of salt, plunge in the basil leaves, and stir them around with a wooden spoon, leaving them in the water for no more than 2 seconds.
  3. Drain in a colander and immediately cool by rinsing them in cold water.
  4. Combine the basil, garlic, 1/2 cup of water in a blender and puree for 1 minute, until smooth.
  5. Transfer the basil mixture to a bowl and whisk in the olive oil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Just before sauteeing the salmon, gently heat the pistou mixture in a saucepan while stirring. Don't allow the pistou mixture to come to a boil.
  8. Salmon: Season the salmon liberally on both sides with salt and pepper and let sit in refrigerator for between 30 minutes and 4 hours.
  9. Remove from refrigerator and sprinkle top and bottom with the chopped herbs. Press the herbs onto the salmon to help them adhere.
  10. Heat the oil in a large pan (I use the cast-iron skillet).
  11. Place fillets skin-side down in the pan. Sauté over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, turn them over with a spatula, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on the second side.If the salmon starts to brown or the oil smokes, turn the heat down to medium.
  12. Wipe out the hot sauté pan and add in the chopped or quartered tomatoes, stirring them just long enough to warm them.Season with salt and pepper.
  13. Ladle the pistou over and around each piece of salmon and spoon the warmed tomatoes over just before serving.

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