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Sear-Roasted Salmon Fillets with Lemon-Rosemary Butter Sauce

Scott Phillips

Servings: four.

Be sure that the oven has reached 425°F before starting to sear—most ovens take 20 to 30 minutes to heat up thoroughly.


For the Salmon:

  • 4 skinless salmon fillets, (about 1-1/2 lb. total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, canola oil, or peanut oil

For the Lemon-Rosemary Butter Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 Tbs. finely diced shallot (about 1 large)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 440
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 270
  • Fat (g): 30
  • Saturated Fat (g): 13
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11
  • Cholesterol (mg): 140
  • Sodium (mg): 600
  • Carbohydrates (g): 2
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 37


Sear-roast the salmon:

  • Heat the oven to 425°F. Turn the exhaust fan on to high. Pat the salmon thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp. of each total). Heat a 12-inch heavy-based ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until a droplet of water vaporizes in 1 or 2 seconds, about 1 min. (If the water skitters around the pan and doesn’t evaporate, the pan is too hot; take it off the heat for about 30 seconds to cool.)

    Add the oil, swirl it around the pan, and then evenly space the fish in the pan. Cook without touching for 2 min. Using a spatula, lift a corner of the salmon, check that it’s both well browned and easily releases from the pan, and flip it over. (If it sticks or isn’t well browned, cook for 1 to 2 more min. before flipping.) Cook the second side for 1 min. and then transfer the skillet to the oven.

    Roast until the salmon reaches an internal temperature of 135°F and is slightly firm to the touch, about 4 to 7 min. Using potholders, carefully remove the pan from the oven, transfer the salmon to a large plate, tent with foil, and let it rest while you prepare the sauce in the same skillet.

Prepare the pan sauce:

  • Pour off any excess fat from the skillet. Using a large wad of paper towels, blot any remaining oil from the pan but leave any browned bits. Return the pan to high heat and add the wine, shallot, and rosemary. Cook, stirring, until the wine is almost completely evaporated, 3 to 4 min. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cubes of butter, adding a few at a time until they’re all thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is thick and creamy looking. (If the butter is slow to melt, set the pan over low heat.) Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately, spooned over the sear-roasted salmon.

Wine Choices: The big flavor brought on by searing, coupled with the richness of the butter, means this salmon can handle a dry rosé or light red, like Pinot Noir.


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Reviews (16 reviews)

  • need2cook | 11/01/2015

    Excellant dish! I was a little skeptical about searing since I have not seared salmon before. The instructions were very easy to follow and I will make this mouthwatering dish again!

  • VYinLA | 01/27/2015

    Promising. I find 6 Tbl butter is too much in the sauce. The fish (I used farm-raised) was oilier than I expected so that didn't help. I increased the lemon too. I had 1.5 lb and cut into four pieces, but it was done after only a couple minutes in the oven. So I agree: check the thermometer not the clock.

  • user-3126363 | 12/31/2013

    Lucky enough to bring several King Salmon back from Alaska ... This is the only way I'll prepare them ... hard to improve on perfection :O)

  • llacim | 08/04/2013

    Very good recipe! There is no reason to make the sauce in a separate pan, b the time it was ready the fish was overlooked and cold. Served with sauted spinach. Perfect, easy meal for a weeknight. My two four-year olds ate it no problem. (Side note: we feed them salmon regularly. I don't want to imply this recipe got them to eat salmon :)

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