Baked Salmon with Creamy Citrus Herb Sauce

Baked Salmon with Creme Fraiche and Tarragon over a bed of sauteed Spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My Elegant Baked Salmon with Creamy Citrus Herb Sauce is so simple and impressive, you’ll wish you’d thought of it earlier. It’s a lovely brunch or dinner main course that pairs well with a pretty pink rose wine. Try it as your main course for your next Sunday Brunch!

Baked Salmon with Lemony Creme Fraiche and Tarragon over a bed of sauteed Spinach  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Baked Salmon with Lemony Creme Fraiche and Tarragon over a bed of sauteed Spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Tarragon is the herb star in this dish. I haven’t had a lot of luck in growing tarragon in my garden here in Virginia. We tend to have cold winters so this perennial herb won’t return readily. You can use another fresh herb if you can’t find tarragon at your grocer’s fresh herb section. I like to coarsely chop my tarragon for maximum flavor. You may prefer finely chopped tarragon as a more elegant garnish to this dish.

This salmon dish is so easy that your guests will think you are a genius. To make this decadent sauce, just take some creme fraiche (found in your grocer’s dairy section) and stir in a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest.

Creme Fraiche is a cultured cream that is used in many dishes (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Creme Fraiche is a cultured cream that is used in many dishes (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Find some nice fresh skin-on salmon fillets. Place on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Season them with salt and pepper. Top with the lemony creme fraiche sauce reserving just a bit for a garnish later. Sprinkle chopped fresh tarragon on top. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 – 15 minutes.

Lemons are a wonderful tangy ingredient in many dishes (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lemons are a wonderful tangy ingredient in many dishes (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Remove the baked salmon to serving plates. Spoon some of the sauce over the salmon, add a dollop of reserved sauce, and top with a sprig of tarragon or a slice of lemon.

Elegant Baked Salmon with Creamy Citrus Herb Sauce over sauteed Spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Elegant Baked Salmon with Creamy Citrus Herb Sauce over sauteed Spinach (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

This is one of my favorite dishes. Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Elegant Baked Salmon with Creamy Citrus Herb Sauce

Ingredients:

4 salmon fillets, skin on, bones removed
salt and pepper
1 c creme fraiche
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 t lemon zest
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
Tarragon sprigs or lemon slices, for garnish

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
3. Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on the lined baking sheet.
4. Season the top side of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
5. Stir together the creme fraiche, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread the creme fraiche sauce on the salmon fillets reserving 2 tablespoons for a garnish dollop after baking.
6. Sprinkle the chopped tarragon over the sauce.
7. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the salmon is cooked to your liking. You can check the doneness by cutting into the thickest part of the fillets. The salmon flesh should be opaque, except in the center, and should look succulent but not dry.
8. Remove baking sheet from the oven. The salmon will continue to cook so remember that if you aren’t ready to serve it right away.
9. With a spatula, carefully remove the salmon fillets to serving plates. The salmon skin may remain on the pan, but that’s ok, try to keep each fillet in one piece. The lemony creme fraiche will make a “sauce” that you can spoon over the salmon fillets.
10. Garnish each salmon fillet with a dollop of the reserved creme fraiche sauce, and a tarragon sprig or lemon slice, and serve!

Serves 4 as a main course. Offer this salmon over a bed of sauteed spinach, or by itself with a side of rice pilaf and steamed asparagus. Sparkling, white or rose wines pair nicely with this dish.

Variations: Use whatever firm-fleshed fish fillet that you like. This sauce goes well with halibut and swordfish. Swap out the fresh tarragon for your favorite fresh herb such as chives, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc. Use orange juice and zest instead of lemon for a different flavor.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2014)

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