Salmon with sauce vierge

A stalwart of French cuisine, this sauce vierge recipe from chef Steven Doherty includes the core ingredients of fresh tomato, fragrant basil and rich olive oil with a little acidity from freshly squeezed lemon juice. Crushed coriander seeds add wonderful aroma, while the addition of chervil and parsley add a British twist to the dish. Here the sauce is served with simple pan-fried salmon fillets, but other poached fish, grilled lamb cutlets, pasta or warm new potatoes would also work well.

First published in 2016




Pan-fried salmon

Sauce vierge


To make the sauce, first plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for a few seconds, then drain and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Peel, deseed and finely chop the tomatoes
Place in a bowl with the garlic, chopped herbs and crushed coriander seeds. Mix in the olive oil and lemon juice then season to taste with salt and white pepper
The sauce can be served straight away, or made ahead and reserved until ready to serve. The flavours will improve if left for a few hours or if warmed through slightly before serving
Just before serving, place a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good dash of sunflower oil. Add the salmon fillets, skin-side down, and cook for about 5 minutes
Flip over and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until both sides are golden brown. Season the fish lightly while still in pan
Spoon the sauce over each serving plate and top with cooked salmon fillets to serve

Working as the head chef at Le Gavroche in the 1980s cemented Steven Doherty's status as a legendary chef, but after falling in love with Cumbria he kick-started the gastropub scene in the county.

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