Chilled Salmon With Herb Mayonnaise 6.000
Sep 8, 2004

This lovely dish -- pale pink salmon dressed with a light green sauce on crisp greens -- can be served warm or at room temperature. The easy sauce uses prepared mayonnaise and lots of fresh herbs. Caterer David Dahan loves basil as the predominant herb in the sauce, but you can use more of whichever one you like best.

The salmon can be made a day in advance.

Servings: 6
  • For the salmon
  • 1 cup olive oil, plus additional for cooking
  • 3 tablespoons minced basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)
  • For the herb mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped chervil or dill
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped tarragon
  • 1/2 medium shallot, coarsely chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 large lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought low-fat mayonnaise
  • Lettuce leaves or baby spinach or red radishes, for garnish
  • Minced chives, for garnish


For the salmon: In a baking dish large enough to hold all the salmon fillets, combine 1 cup of the oil, then the basil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add the salmon and turn to coat evenly with marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a large, ovenproof baking dish.

In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Sear the marinated salmon fillets for 1 minute per side, working in batches, then transfer to the baking dish. When all the fillets have been seared, bake them for about 10 minutes (for salmon with the center still translucent, bake for slightly less than 10 minutes). If serving chilled, let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

For the herb mayonnaise: In a food processor or blender, combine the herbs, shallot, lemon juice, oil and salt and pepper to taste; process for 1 minute. Add the mayonnaise and blend well. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add small increments of oil and blend just to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To serve, arrange lettuce greens or baby spinach and sliced radishes on large platter. Place salmon on greens, drizzle with herb sauce and garnish with minced chives. Serve with additional sauce on the side.

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Recipe Source

From caterer David Dahan.

Tested by The Washington Post.

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