Big City Salmon with Martini Sauce

Big City Salmon with Martini Sauce Recipe

A few years ago I created a menu of regional American dishes (both traditional and invented) for a special Fourth of July wine dinner. I wanted something particularly clever to represent Manhattan. I kept thinking of sophisticated New Yorkers drinking martinis and decided to try my hand at making a sauce with similar ingredients. I like the double dose of juniper with the deep, rich taste of wild salmon, and the olives add a distinctive briny note which cuts through the richness of the fish. You can grill or broil the salmon instead of sautéeing it, if you prefer.–Susan Spicer

LC Stirred, Shaken, or Sauced? Note

Now you can ask folks if they take their martini stirred, shaken, or sauce. As in this easy, elegant entree that’s swimming in a martini-inspired sauce. Hiccup.

Big City Salmon with Martini Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • Makes 4 servings


  • For the martini sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup gin
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped whole juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon dried or brined green peppercorns (optional)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 6 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced into rings
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the salmon
  • Four 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • Make the martini sauce
  • 1. Place the shallot, gin, vermouth, juniper berries, and green peppercorns, if using, in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced to about 3 tablespoons liquid. Add the cream and reduce to 1/4 cup.
  • 2. Strain the liquid and return it to the saucepan, discarding the solids. Whisk in the butter. Add the olives and season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and a little pepper. Cover and keep warm while you prepare the salmon.
  • Make the salmon
  • 3. Season each piece salmon fillet with salt and pepper and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley. If sauteing, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the fish, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the salmon fillet and cook for about 2 minutes on the second side for medium-rare. (If you prefer your salmon cooked through, increase the cooking time by about 90 seconds per side.)
  • 4. Spoon the Martini Sauce over (or alongside) the cooked salmon and serve immediately. This salmon is delicious with boiled new potatoes or rice.
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