I'll be honest–I almost never cook myself dinner on a weeknight. Despite the fact that half of my job feels like developing and promoting content to help the average home cook live their best weeknight dinner life, I myself almost never get around to the deed. Practice what you preach, you know?
Usually, you can find me coasting off of leftovers that I may have scrounged from the FeedfeedBrooklyn Test Kitchen, or I’ll just make a pot of popcorn and call it a day. Luxury, I know. I can confirm, however, that I have made this one skillet salmon dinner on a weeknight, and it truly is a winner. In the time it took me to prep and cook this entire dish, I was able to simultaneously catch up on a week’s worth of gossip from The Bachelor with my roommates and have dinner ready for us all before the show’s 8 pm start. Not to mention, cleaning it all up after the final rose ceremony at the end of the show was a breeze! One skillet = minimal clean up. Pretty impressive, huh?
If cooking fish seems intimidating or too over-the-top for a weeknight, worry not. This humble dinner is basically fool proof. Fennel gives the entire dish a fresh, slightly anise flavor that brightens up the rich, creamy pan sauce. A handful of castelvetrano olives (the gateway olive, if you will) adds a briny kick, while sun-dried tomatoes bring a subtle pop of sweetness. Basically, this dinner has it all. If you’re up for it, a pot of rice or a fresh green salad would be a great side for this dinner, but neither is necessary.
Is this salmon recipe going to make me a person that comes home every night and prepares a delicious weeknight dinner? Well, no. I am still me, and sometimes I just want to come home and drink kombucha, eat some dark chocolate, and fall into a deep rabbit hole of Youtube videos of Shawn Mendes, you know? However, I can proclaim (with confidence) that if you’re wanting a delicious meal at the end of a long day, this creamy salmon skillet is a mighty fine option. Especially if you’re watching The Bachelor–cheers to a solid weeknight dinner and finding love!
- 4 (4 ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Black peppercorns, freshly ground to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 1/ 2 medium bulb fennel, bulb chopped, and fronds reserved
- 5 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/ 2 cup heavy cream
- 1/ 4 cup vegetable stock
- 1/ 4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/ 4 cup castelvetrano olives, pitted
- 1/ 2 cup chicken stock, or white wine
Heat oil in a large cast iron over medium high heat. Pat salmon fillets dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Add, skin side down, to pan and sear until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove fillets and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium and add butter. Add shallot and fennel bulb and cook until fennel is softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and zest, and deglaze the pan with chicken stock, scraping up any brown bits on the pan. Bring to a simmer and let reduce by a half, about 5 minutes.
Add cream, broth, sun dried tomatoes, and olives, and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add salmon fillets back to the pan and cook until warmed through, another 2 minutes. Top with reserved fronds and serve immediately.