Barefoot Contessa Recipe 41: Salmon and Melting Cherry Tomatoes

This recipe can be found in Foolproof, page 150.

Saturday was my day to cook last week. And even though it wasn’t Friday, I still made fish. Okay, I’ll be honest, we ended up not cooking the fish Friday due to our schedules. But, it was defrosted and we didn’t want to lose it.

Luckily for me, Ina has a handful of recipes that call for salmon as the main star. I was glad I finally got to make this recipe since I had been eyeing it for some time. Salmon with Melting Cherry Tomatoes didn’t disappoint. In fact, it included a few new techniques for me which was great!

The dish begins by having you render onions and garlic in some olive oil until the onions turn sweet. Then you add in some sliced cherry tomatoes and let those cook down for about 15 minutes. While they are cooking, some of they become mushing and split even further, which gives them the appearance of “melting.” Hence the name! Towards the end, you add in balsamic vinegar and basil and voila you have an easy and flavor-packed side dish.

For the star of the dish, the salmon, you start by pan-searing it in a very, very hot cast iron pan. Then the salmon is baked in a hot oven for less than 10 minutes. This was a new technique for me. I had seen and read recipes where chefs sear something in a pan for a few minutes, then throw it in the oven to finish the cooking process. But I never really had the chance to try it for myself until this recipe.

Honestly, I was a little skeptical at first. When I pulled the pan out of the oven, I didn’t think the fish was going to be done. But I trusted Ina and the recipe. After letting the fish stand for a few minutes with a tented piece of foil, it came out wonderfully tender! The simple combination of olive oil, salt, and pepper are really all you need on this salmon. The real flavor punch comes from the tomato “sauce.”

One of the things I loved about this recipe was the fact that it came with a built-in vegetable dish. So, I only had to make an additional starch to round out the meal. That dish became recipe #42, which will be published later this week!

Salmon and Melting Cherry Tomatoes. The couscous side dish is recipe #42.

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