Salmon is one of those fish that always seems to please people, whether you sear it in a pan, roast it in the oven, or grill it on the barbecue. It’s a fairly easy fish to cook with a large room for error because of its fatty content – it’s much harder to dry out, or tear in the cooking process. With spring just a few days away, fresh herbs always seem to brighten up any meal, especially fresh fish like salmon. Fresh basil seems to be the herb I long for most during wintertime, even here in Los Angeles, and I think its aroma adds to any meal.
I make fish a lot in my house and salmon is the meal I like to prepare most when we need to lighten things up a bit. I like salmon served in several different ways – just not stuffed with glass noodles (a long story) – a recipe I made once from an old Martha Stewart Cookbook. Let’s just say, the family did not appreciate that meal.
Tearing fresh basil over the top of cooked fish is always nice, but this time around I decided to crisp it up in the pan before I cooked the fish to turn basil, deep green and remove all of its hydration. It was actually a simple process and the results were quite delicious. Instantly, basil didn’t taste or look like basil, but of dark wispy earth – pretty cool. When I topped the sweet cooked salmon with these delicate leaves, the contrasting flavors were fantastic.
This may sound like something that is interesting, but not delicious, however it’s something you should try. The meal is made in under 15 minutes and it gives your fish a little twist worth tasting. I paired my fish with some mixed greens to keep it light and fresh throughout the meal.
2-4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
2 cup fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper
vegetable oil, I like Grapeseed
- Salt and pepper salmon fillets on both sides, set aside. In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add 2 teaspoons oil. After 2 minutes add fresh basil leaves. Cook until dark and crisp, about 3 minutes, turning over so all sides get crisp. Remove basil from pan and set aside.
- Add 2 more teaspoons of oil to pan and place salmon flesh side down and sear for 3 minutes. Flip over and place a lid on pan for 2 minutes. Remove lid and turn heat to low. Continue to cook for 4-6 minutes, depending upon how you enjoy the internal temperature of your salmon.
- Remove salmon and place on plates. Top with crispy basil. Enjoy!