Wild caught salmon with olive tapenade and basil

Posted on 05. Jan, 2012 by in Family Dinners

I love salmon and I am always looking for new ways to enjoy it.  The earthy saltiness of the olives combined with the richness of the salmon makes for a simple yet elegant dish.

  • 4 pieces of center cut fillet skin off
  • 1/4 cup black olive tapenade store bought or recipe follows
  • 1/4 chopped fresh basil or mint and leaves for garnish
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 2 T olive oil and 2T butter
  • sea salt

Preheat oven to 375. Melt butter and olive oil in a saute pan. Cut salmon into 2 inch fillets. Drizzle lime juice on each fillet and rub in the zest and sprinkle with salt. Mix into the tapenade 1/4 cup basil or mint and 2 t lemon juice. Place the tapenade into a quart sized ziploc baggie and push it down to one corner. Twist the top section of the baggie so the tapenade is sitting in one corner and snip off the end corner so it can be squeezed out. Using a thin knife cut into the fillets from the sides into the two thick sections. Pipe the tapenade into the cuts on each side.  Place the fillets top side down into the hot saute pan as the butter and olive oil begin to shimmer and bubble.  Careful not to let the butter turn a dark brown. Saute for about 2 minutes and flip to cook another 2 minutes on the other side.  Place the pan into the oven or transfer the fillets onto a baking sheet and roast for 6 minutes or until temperature reaches 130.  To make a sauce with the tapenade add 2 T olive oil and 1 T of lemon juice into the remaining tapenade from the bag.  I like to add 1 T chopped sun dried tomatoes, mix well and drizzle onto the serving platter.  Place fillets on top and garnish with the fresh basil.


  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 anchovy drained and patted dry
  • grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 T olive oil
  • pinch of chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

Place everything in a food processor and blend scraping down the sides. Taste and adjust with a little more lemon or oil.


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2 Responses to “Wild caught salmon with olive tapenade and basil”

  1. janet schlihs 6 January 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    this dish was wonderful. i will make and serve it often. thank you!

  2. Deya Nichelson 9 February 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    I made this tonight for a big family dinner and everyone LOVED it! Super delicious and easy way to make salmon. Thanks EJ!

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