Salmon in Sorrel Sauce


Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: In a former life, I owned a fish market. In addition to selling fresh fish, we offered prepared foods to take home - a radical concept at the time - and this dish was prepackaged with instructions. It's a rich, bright dinner party meal that whips up in less than 10 minutes and never fails to impress. Best with the first sorrel of the season. Sorrel is one of the easiest herbs to grow (note: invasively so) but this sauce guarantees it a home in my garden. - MrsWheelbarrowMrsWheelbarrow

Food52 Review: MrsWheelbarrow's salmon with sorrel has all the markings of professional training; the unexpected beauty behind this dish is that it can be executed from start to finish in under 30 minutes by even a relatively new cook. Once the herbs are chopped and the salmon sliced into two-bite slivers, all that's required is a quick broil (it barely took us 30 seconds to cook our salmon through) and an almost equally brief spell in a hot pan for the sauce. The result is an elegant, balanced dish that we'd pull out for a dinner party, or just a weeknight dinner we were looking to make a little special. A note: if you can't find sorrel, you can substitute baby spinach. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Prepare the Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Prepared Salmon - see below
  • 2 cups fresh sorrel leaves, chopped rough
  • 1/4 cup chervil
  • 1/2 cup chives, with flowers if possible
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper

Prepare the Salmon

  • 1 pound beautiful, wild, center cut salmon (Alaskan King is my preference here, but any wild caught salmon will do)
In This Recipe

Directions

Prepare the Sauce

  1. Adjust an oven rack to be at the very top of the oven. Preheat the broiler. Warm the plates (very important) in a sink of warm water, your extra oven (ha), or remove them from the just run dishwasher.
  2. Prepare all ingredients and stage. This dish comes together quickly and you don't want to be scrambling. Hold back the chive flowers, if you have them.
  3. When the oven is ready, start the sauce. In a large, wide skillet, melt the butter until it starts to toast. It should be golden brown. At this point, put the salmon under the broiler.
  4. Add the sorrel, chervil and chives to the butter and coat quickly. Allow them to wilt a little, and then pour in the cream. Bring to a boil and reduce just until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, remembering you have seasoned the fish.
  5. The salmon should now be ready. (2-3 minutes) Watch it carefully the entire time it's in the oven -- it could take you as little as 30 seconds, depending on your oven.
  6. Dry the warm plates. Place four medallions per person on each plate and decorate with the sauce, being very generous. Sprinkle chive flower petals and serve with crusty bread.

Prepare the Salmon

  1. Slice the salmon into thin medallions. A flexible salmon slicing knife is my choice, but any long thin knife will work well. It must be very sharp. Slice on a slight angle cutting away the skin as you go. Aim for 16 pieces.
  2. Place the salmon on a sheet pan lined with parchment and very lightly oiled. Brush the tops very lightly with oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish.
  3. PS I like to put the salmon skin under the broiler, too. Salt well. It's a delicious cook's snack.

More Great Recipes:
Chive|Milk/Cream|Salmon|Seafood|Sheet Pan|Entree

Reviews (88) Questions (3)

88 Reviews

Taylorjean07 October 15, 2018
Why do you need to preheat the plates?
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow October 15, 2018
To keep the sauce hot!
 
Anne M. August 8, 2015
i made this last night for our dinner party, it was truly amazing and very well received by our guests! I had to buy the sorrel and chervil from our local garden centre as it's not easy to find! I served the salmon on clean eating garlic spinach, which complemented it beautifully! Can highly recommend this recipe!
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow August 8, 2015
Hi Anne Marie! I'm so happy you liked this recipe. If you have anything left of those plants, pop them in your garden or a little pot on the windowsill so you can make it again!<br />
 
ReeceAmy November 29, 2013
OMG! What a fabulous dish! Served over brown rice for yesterday's lunch to rave reviews. Love how quickly it comes together. Thanks MrsWheelBarrow.
 
brooke April 23, 2013
This was a delicious sauce! I used it on Mahi, over shitakes, snow peas, cherry tomatoes and zucchini matchsticks. I substituted coconut milk for the cream and it turned out great. Can't wait to eat it again!
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow April 23, 2013
So glad you liked it!
 
sherrylynne M. April 23, 2013
I love anything to do with fish and especially salmon....and love lemony things..so sorrel has always been a fav....never had the two together.. actually my best fav is potato and sorrel soup ....but this may take over that spot..........lol..........I have often substituted baby spinach and lemon juice for sorrel .....when I cannot find it.......or it is out of season.......<br />
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow April 23, 2013
I'm so glad you enjoyed the combination!<br />
 
Kate S. January 11, 2013
It may not look so pretty but try frying the salmon skin until it is crisp and then chop it finely and sprinkle on top (with a few fried sage leaves scattered artistically about) - crunchy and delicious and full of omega 3
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow January 11, 2013
Delicious idea!
 
Hilarybee October 1, 2012
I made the sauce to serve with lemon garlic roasted chicken. It was beautiful, a snap to put together and went surprisingly well with my chicken. It really elevated the roast and looked beautiful in a gravy boat on the side.
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow October 1, 2012
What a nice idea! You know how it is.. you make something one way forever, and never think of other options? Well, you just made me say WOW. Thank you!
 
Hilarybee October 1, 2012
I did nothing! I rarely ever eat salmon, and just got my farmshare of chicken. CSA box had turnips, potatoes, garlic and sorrel.
 
fosterOR July 28, 2012
This turned out great for us. We also had trouble finding chevril and sorrel but had a bit of the latter (maybe almost a cup) growing outside and then used some baby arugula with lemon zest. We also used half the amount of cream and it turned out fine. Thank you!
 
ontilt July 8, 2012
I made this the other night and it was a huge hit. We've been struggling to get our 5 year old daughter to try other foods beyond the standard American kids fare and she loved this dish as did we. The next day she whispered in my ear asking if we could have it again. Separating the skin was a bit challenging though.
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow July 8, 2012
I'm so glad you liked it! The skin part is hard if your knife isn't razor sharp. I've asked my fish guy to take the skin off - they've got all the right knives.
 
lschrive May 7, 2012
I saw sorrel at the farmer's market and this recipe sprang to mind - really my first time trying sorrel on my own. What a lovely surprise! The sauce does come together fast...good thing when cooking with/for a toddler!
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow June 4, 2012
I've just seen your comment! I'm so glad you liked it. Now that it's spring, and sorrel is growing like mad in my garden, this is on the menu about once a week.
 
clintonhillbilly April 5, 2012
Terrific recipe. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow April 6, 2012
So pleased! It's sorrel season and this recipe is calling to me, too.
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow April 6, 2012
Yay! So pleased! It's sorrel season and this recipe is calling to me, too.
 
Jaynerly April 6, 2012
I swear I was thinking of this recipe only yesterday! I love it!
 
oregon C. March 24, 2012
Any substitute suggestions (that I can easily purchase) for chervil? Sorrel has been growing wild in my garden for years but I've never used it. This recipe has me inspired to try it.
 
estelle April 16, 2011
This recipe was outstanding!!! I could not find chervil or sorrel anywhere, so used spinach and chives and it was still fabulous and extremely easy and quick. Cutting the salmon into medallions was a little awkward, but I loved how fast it cooked. My husband went crazy for this dish. Of course, anything with butter and heavy cream is tops on my list for yumminess. My hats off to the creator of this recipe! Thanks.
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow April 16, 2011
So glad you enjoyed it. Next time cutting the medallions will be easier!
 
sarah K. April 8, 2011
Yum! This salmon was delicious! My 4 year old daughter especially loved it, and asked for seconds. I couldn't find the sorrel, so I used baby spinach with the zest of a lemon. It really does come together so fast. The only thing I had trouble with was slicing the fish away from the skin. Otherwise, it was remarkably easy and elegant.
 
kitchengardener September 6, 2010
Although this has nothingnwhatsoever to do with the recipe which is delicious by the way, I just have to say I really enjoyed the piece with on NPR which aired this week about canning. its nice to know there's a resurgence!
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow September 6, 2010
thanks so much. it was really fun for me!
 
SallyCan June 5, 2010
...though I can't see that spinach could take the place of the sorrel...it's just not the same...
 
SallyCan June 5, 2010
My anemic sorrel finally produced enough to try your recipe, and it was lovely. I found the addition of the more sturdy herbs added a nice texture, though I do love the way sorrel breaks down and meshes into a sauce. I often make a sorrel sauce for the spring shad, think I may try yours next year...
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow June 5, 2010
Delighted your garden finally produced sufficient sorrel, and that you enjoyed the recipe. I like the way sorrel breaks down, but enjoy how the sturdier herbs keep the sauce a brighter green than the muddy green of cooked sorrel.
 
dymnyno May 28, 2010
The farmer's market has some beautiful sorrel, so I am making this tomorrow night...fishmonger has fresh wild salmon too....lucky me!!!
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow May 28, 2010
Yay! So glad!
 
la M. May 28, 2010
I made this last night for dinner. This method of cooking salmon is definitely a keeper! So easy and the salmon was delicious. I did like the sauce although I might find a way to make a bit lighter (without the heavy cream). Do you have any other sauce suggestions? Thank you for sharing your recipe! It is going to go into my dinner rotation for my family.
 
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow May 28, 2010
I love how the creaminess is offset by the lemony sorrel flavor. Maybe use less cream? Or try very concentrated broth instead? Will be interested to hear about your experimentation.
 
mrslarkin May 27, 2010
Congrats, MrsW! On my way this morning to check out another nursery for sorrel!