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
- Preheat the oven to 165c.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until opaque.
- 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.