Pan-Roasted Salmon With Butter Caper Sauce

by Emily Kemme
Salmon Caper Butter Sauce

Pan-roasted salmon is bathed in a lemon butter caper sauce in this easy version of the French classic. Ingredients blend to present a tasty whole: capers provide zips of salt, fresh dill fronds are aromatic and mild, sweet butter ties everything together. The dish is quick and easy for weeknights and entertaining. Roast with skin on to help retain juiciness. You may remove the fish skin before serving.

Pan-Roasted Salmon With Butter Caper Sauce Recipe

2 – 6 ounce center cut salmon fillets with skin, rinsed and patted dry

salt and pepper

2 T grapeseed oil (or other high heat oil)

2 T capers, drained and rinsed

3 T unsalted butter

2 T dill fronds, minced

3 T lemon juice

1/4 cup dry white wine

Place salmon fillets on a rack on top of a baking sheet; this allows air to pass on both sides which dries the skin for better crisping. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy sauté pan over high heat.

Note: I know cast iron skillets are all the rage, but not for fish. The oil from the salmon is hard to eliminate and will “flavor” everything else you cook in it for some time.

Add oil and heat until it shimmers. Place fillets in pan flesh side down and sear for one minute, or until fish easily releases from pan. The flesh should have some browned elements.

Using tongs, turn fillets to sear the skin. Lower heat to medium and crisp skin for about 3 minutes, pressing down on fillets occasionally to prevent curling.

Lower heat and add butter, lemon juice, wine, and capers to pan. Baste fish with butter mixture until fish is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Test for doneness by flaking with a fork or by inserting an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the flesh — it should register 145°F for medium. Remove fish from pan and let rest on clean plate for 5 minutes so juices settle.

Sprinkle fish with dill before serving.

pan roasted salmon

Pan-searing the salmon makes this a go-to preparation for weeknights. Take it up a notch for company and bathe the fish in a lemon butter caper preparation to saturate the fish with flavor.

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