San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery, cofounded by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, is renowned for its refined takes on the healthful, beautiful cuisine of France. Prueitt’s latest collection of recipes will be your go-to guide for nutritious dishes any time of day. Can’t decide whether you want raw or cooked salmon tonight? Try this “one-sided” sautéed salmon with chive butter and have the best of both worlds!
I worked as a server in a Scandinavian restaurant in New York City in the late ’80s, where I served a dish like this one; this is my affectionate replication. It’s a recipe that has stayed in my memory for so long because of its striking flavors, simplicity, and visual appeal: salmon seared on the skin side only, with the top of the fillet rare, and then served with a vibrant, green chive sauce. It is definitely a dish for people like me who love medium-rare or rare salmon.
- 1 1-pound salmon fillet, skin on
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 2 small or 1 large bunch chives, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, plus more as needed
For the salmon
Check the salmon for pin bones (the tiny bones that aren’t attached to the fish’s skeleton) by running your fingers over the fillet. If you need to remove any, slide a hand under the fillet and lift the fillet slightly so it bends at the point where the pin bone is located. Grasp the protruding bone with tweezers or needle-nose pliers and gently pull the bone out. Repeat until all the pin bones are removed.
Season the skin side of the fish with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Place the salmon skin-side down, gently pressing on the top if it curls up on the bottom. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the fish turns opaque about three-quarters up from the bottom of the fillet, about 4 to 6 minutes for medium-rare, or to your preferred doneness. Transfer the salmon to a plate and let cool slightly while you make the sauce.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the chives, parsley, salt, and lemon juice to the melted butter, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Do not let the sauce boil.
Transfer the sauce to a container that will fit an immersion blender (such as a Mason jar). (Due to the small amount of sauce, using a regular blender may not work, unless you have one with a small capacity container.) Mix to blend the sauce. Season to taste and add more salt and lemon juice if needed.
Pour the sauce on the serving plate, place the salmon on top, and serve.