1. Kitchen Test: King Salmon with Tomato-Herb Coulis
Kitchen Test: King Salmon with Tomato-Herb Coulis

Kitchen Test: King Salmon with Tomato-Herb Coulis

Michelle Lee | |

There comes a point every summer when there are just too many tomatoes, and as hard as you try, a few get soft before you’re able to enjoy them. That is the ideal time to make this extremely simple, fresh sauce to pair with gorgeous crème fraiche and Dijon mustard marinated salmon. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of making a coulis! It’s just a thick sauce made of puréed fresh vegetables or fruits, and this coulis even avoids the mess of straining. Just prep, cook, blend and serve. Wild Pacific king (chinook) salmon is rich and luscious, making it a perfect match for a low-fat, simple tomato sauce. King salmon also has the highest omega-3 levels of any wild fish, including other wild salmon. However, you can also enjoy this recipe with any wild salmon you happen to have on hand. Simply reduce the roasting time for sockeye, keta and silver salmon to 8 to 10 minutes.

Kitchen Test: King Salmon with Tomato-Herb Coulis

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 1 hours


  • 2 portions Vital Choice wild Pacific king salmon (6 ounces each), thawed
  • 1 tablespoon Vital Choice organic extra virgin olive oil
  • Parchment paper
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons country-style Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus sprigs for garnish (can substitute basil, oregano, savory or a marjoram/parsley combo)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine crème fraiche and Dijon mustard in a lidded glass bowl. Gently and generously coat each salmon piece with the crème fraiche mixture. Cover and refrigerate in the sauce, at least 20 minutes.
  3. To prepare the coulis, mince garlic and shallot and set aside.
  4. Bring a medium pot of water to boil and blanche that tomatoes 10-15 seconds, just long enough for the skin to begin to split.
  5. Cool the tomatoes briefly in a bowl of ice water, then remove them to a cutting board. Core the tomatoes, slip off the peels and halve them across their “equators.”
  6. Using your thumb, gently remove as many seeds as possible from the pockets exposed by halving the tomatoes, then cut into ½-inch pieces.
  7. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and shallot and “sweat” for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful to soften the vegetables without browning them.
  8. Add the tomato pieces and increase the heat to medium-high. Simmer the tomatoes as they cook down until they’ve formed a thick, reduced sauce, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove tomatoes from the heat, add the thyme leaves, salt and pepper to taste and (carefully) blend to a purée with an immersion blender or traditional blender. Check seasoning again and set aside off the heat until the salmon is done.
  10. Remove salmon from the refrigerator and gently place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until the marinade has cooked.
  11. Pool a generous serving of sauce on each plate, top with salmon portions and top with freshly grated lemon zest, garnishing each plate with a few sprigs of fresh thyme if desired.
Serves: Serves 2