A Few of My Favorite Things

Shallots. Olives. Capers. Tomatoes. These are a few of my favorite things.

When you cook them together with some good olive oil and fresh thyme? An amazing ragoût.

Serve it with over seared salmon? A simple and sublime meal. It also works well as an accompaniment to pork, chicken, tuna, swordfish, tilapia, or…?

I wanted something rich, succulent, and comforting, yet not heavy. Especially for a hot August evening in the Sonoran Desert. I opted for salmon.

This was what I came up with the other night to pair with a very unusual rosé from Château Malherbe. You can read about the wine pairing on the Provence WineZine.


~ David

Seared Salmon with Tomato-Shallot Ragoût

2 6-ounces wild salmon fillets
1/4 teaspoon Piment d’Esplette
1/4 sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons full-flavored olive oil
3 ounces shallots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 ounces sweet cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
5 pitted kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
leaves from 5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Heat the olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and tomatoes; reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20-25 minutes, until shallots are soft and tomatoes have begun to pop.

While the shallots and tomatoes are cooking, wash and dry the salmon and place skin-side down on a plate. Mix the Piment d’Esplette, paprika, and salt in a small bowl, and gently rub the mixture into the flesh of the salmon, but not the edges. Set aside while you finish the ragoût.

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Add the capers, olives, and thyme to the shallot-tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet large enough to hold both fillets. When foaming has subsided, add the salmon (skin-side up) and sear for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Turn the salmon skin-side down and place in the oven for 3-4 minutes.

While salmon is in the oven, return the ragoût to medium-low heat and stir in remaining tablespoon of butter.

Serve salmon skin-side down, spooning ragoût on the top and side of the fish.

Serves 2.

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