David Scott AllenFish & SeafoodMain CourseProvencal RecipesTaste

Quick and Easy Seared Salmon with Tomato-Shallot Ragoût 

Make this recipe for seared salmon one time, and it will become a “go-to” quick dinnertime meal for two (or more). The tomato, shallot, caper and olive ragoût is a savoury combination that is similar to a puttanesca pasta sauce. However, my version has no garlic (we don’t like it) and no anchovies, as they would overpower the salmon. This main course is ready in 30 minutes, which along with the ingredients are a few of my favorite things.

Seared Salmon Ragout

Seared Salmon with Tomato-Shallot Ragoût 

The tomato ragoût is simple to prepare, you can make it in advance as it will keep for a few days. The salmon takes less than 10 minutes to cook, so dinner is on the table in no time at all.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 2 people


  • 2 6-oz Wild Salmon Fillets
  • 1/4 tsp Piment d'esplette
  • 1/4 tsp Sweet Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Full-Flavored Olive Oil
  • 3 oz shallots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 oz Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp capers rinsed and drained
  • 5 Olives pitted and quartered lengthwise
  • 5 sprigs Fresh Thyme for the leaves
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter divided


  • Heat the olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the shallots and tomatoes; reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20-25 minutes, until shallots are soft and tomatoes have begun to pop.
  • While the shallots and tomatoes are cooking, wash and dry the salmon and place skin-side down on a plate.
  • Mix the Piment d’Esplette, paprika, and salt in a small bowl, and gently rub the mixture into the flesh of the salmon, but not the edges. Set aside while you finish the ragoût.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Add the capers, olives, and thyme to the shallot-tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet large enough to hold both fillets. When the foaming has subsided, add the salmon (skin-side up) and sear for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Turn the salmon skin-side down and place in the oven for 3-4 minutes.
  • While salmon is in the oven, return the ragoût to medium-low heat and stir in remaining tablespoon of butter.
  • Serve salmon skin-side down, spooning ragoût on the top and side of the fish.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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