A simple sauce of piquant green peppercorns, lemon juice and butter tops this seared salmon recipe. Green peppercorns come from the same plant as black ones, but are harvested before they mature. Typically packed in vinegar, they have a refreshingly sharp flavor. Look for them near the capers in most supermarkets. Serve with smashed red potatoes and sautéed kale.
Cook Time:15 mins Servings:4
1 1/4 pounds wild salmon fillet (see Tip), skinned and cut into 4 portions
1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt, divided
2 teaspoons canola oil
¼ cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon green peppercorns in vinegar, rinsed and crushed
Sprinkle salmon pieces with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway, 4 to 7 minutes total. Divide among 4 plates. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add lemon juice, butter, peppercorns and the remaining pinch of salt; swirl the pan carefully to incorporate the butter into the sauce. Top each portion of fish with sauce (about 2 teaspoons each).
Wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (Alaska and Washington) is considered the best choice for the environment because it is more sustainably fished and has a larger, more stable population. Farmed salmon, including Atlantic, should be avoided, as it endangers the wild salmon population.
To skin salmon, place fillet on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.