Basicwomen's Blog

{November 1, 2010}   Salmon with Creme Fraiche-Basil Sauce


Jessica Verderame

Salmon with Creme Fraiche-Basil SauceThis is another extremely simple recipe that could be prepared in minutes, but needs good ingredients in order for it to shine. I used Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, which I bought on sale because it is usually more expensive than your typical store-bought, farmed salmon.  This is because Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon is touted by many sources to be better quality and healthier due to lower contamination by PCBs and other contaminants, which are said to build up in the environment and cause health defects.


I rarely buy salmon because any good salmon is usually out of my budget, so I was surprised at the deep red color of the raw fish, and instead of turning to the pale pink I’m used to with farmed salmon (which is mostly what you get in restaurants as well), it turned a deep orange color, and it was definitely more flavorful than what I’m used to. So, if you can’t use the good, wild salmon, then go for using standard farm-raised, but I do suggest splurging on the good stuff.

The only problem with that is that you’ll never want to go back!

Since I want to highlight the flavor of the fish as much as possible, I simply grill it was salt and pepper and top it with a very light, but brightly flavored no-cook sauce of crème fraiche, lemon juice and zest, and some fresh basil. I served this over some vegetable risotto (similar to the recipe I posted here: which, of course, completely upped the cooking time from 10 minutes to about 45, and the pans used from one to three, but the salmon on its own is a one pan dish that takes next to no time, and could easily be served with a salad for a quick weeknight meal.

Salmon with Crème Fraiche-Basil Sauce –


Serves 2

2 6-8 oz salmon fillets

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

¼ crème fraiche

Zest & juice of half a lemon

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped


1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. If using a nonstick pan, you will only need a tablespoon or two, use more if using a different type of pan. Season salmon with salt and pepper.

2. Put salmon in the pan, skin side down. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through.

3. Meanwhile, stir together crème fraiche, basil, and lemon juice.

4. To serve, top the salmon with a tablespoon or two of the crème fraiche mixture.

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Tes says:

The salmon looks so good and the basil sauce seems fresh and yummy. I can’t wait to try this.
Thanks for sharing!

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