Olive Oil Poached SalmonUp until last weekend, the only time I had ever tried olive oil poached salmon was several years ago (2008?) at a restaurant in Philadelphia. The preparation shocked me…in a good way: it looked raw, but was warm and buttery in texture. It was incredible. I don’t know how I kept in my memory so long without trying it at home.

Since Katie and I love salmon more than the average person, I knew she would appreciate this kind of thing. She came over last weekend so we could give it a try.

In coming up with a side dish that was sort of indulgent, but was not too heavy tasting and also interesting in texture, I settled on pan roasted fingerling potatoes with wilted arugula. I also made a mustard vinaigrette to drizzle on top and pull everything together. Oh, and I sauteed those potatoes in bacon fat. Yes, I keep bacon fat in my freezer. Totally normal.

The end result was amazing, but photographed a little strangely. According to Serious Eats, the white dots that appear on the salmon in the pictures are the result of having the oil too hot during cooking. I did use a thermometer and noticed that, at one point, the temperature was above the recommended 100 degrees. I took it off the heat hoping it would cool down quickly, but I guess it still caused this funky appearance. I swear it still tasted amazing, though. I will definitely be trying this again.

Olive Oil Poached Salmon with Fingerling Potatoes, Arugula, and Mustard Vinaigrette

Olive oil poached salmon method from Serious Eats, vinaigrette recipe from Zen Can Cook

Olive Oil Poached Salmon

Ingredients (serves 2)

    For the Salmon

    • 2 fillets of salmon, skin removed (about a pound total)
    • Olive oil, as needed (I used about a liter depends on the size of the pot)

    For the Potatoes and Arugula

    • 1 lb. fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
    • 2 1/2 oz. fresh baby arugula
    • 1 Tbsp. bacon fat (you could also use butter or olive oil)
    • Salt and pepper

    For the Mustard Vinaigrette

    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I just used the oil from the salmon)
    • Salt and pepper


    Bring the potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

    Meanwhile, put the salmon fillets in a snug pot and fill with enough olive oil to cover them completely. Warm over low heat until the temperature reaches about 100 degrees. At this point, the olive oil will feel barely warm to the touch. Keep the heat at 100 degrees and cook for about 18-20 minutes, or until the salmon is still rosy in the center.

    When the salmon is cooking, heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet. Add the potatoes and cook until golden brown. At the very end, add the arugula and cook until just barely wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    For the vinaigrette, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the olive oil. When the salmon is finished, slowly drizzle in the warm oil.

    Olive Oil Poached Salmon

    Serve the potatoes and arugula topped with the salmon. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top.

    Have you ever tried poaching in olive oil?

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