Fresh Roasted Salmon with Olive Oil (Escalope de Saumon Frais Roti a l’Huile d’Olive)

Serves: 4

What a simple, fabulous French dish. And so old school as well!

It is from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells, a book I am dying to cook more and more from.

Just read the ingredients, put a bottle of French white on ice and slice the bread. This is a late Sunday lunch and snooze wrapped up.


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 eschallots, finely minced
4 medium tomatoes (peeled, cored, seeded and chopped)
½ c crème fraiche (I used double cream for sake of avoiding a delicatessen)
4 salmon fillets, with skin attached
1 large bunch of fresh basil, minced


  1. Preheat the oven to 165c.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet or solid saucepan. When the oil is hot, though not smoking, add the eschallots and sauté until soft, but not browned; around 2 – 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking until much of the liquid has cooked away; about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the crème fraiche. Cook just long enough to heat the cream, and set aside.
  3. Brush the salmon and skin with the remaining oil. Heat an oven-proof pan over a medium-high heat. (The best way to achieve a crispy skin is to use a copper or metal bottomed pan, ensuring the fish is sufficiently oiled, and pressing the skin into the heat for 20 seconds.)
  4. Adding no oil, cook the salmon, skin down for 2 minutes. Season with salt. Turn the salmon over and cook for 2 more minutes, seasoning with salt again.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until opaque.
  6. To serve, stir the basil into the sauce. Spoon several tablespoons of sauce in the middle of the plate and place the salmon on top of the sauce. A crack of pepper and serve with crusty bread.

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