Salmon with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

This salmon with blistered cherry tomatoes is quick, easy to make, and healthy. In other words, perfect weeknight fare.

A white plate topped with a piece of cooked salmon with blistered cherry tomatoes, shallots, and fresh basil.

The fish is seared to create a beautiful browned crust, then finished in the oven. You can substitute arctic char from the northern seas, available only for a few weeks in late summer, when the ice has melted enough for fishermen to reach them. Fresh arctic char is a sought-after delicacy, one that will cost you. If you can find it, it’s worth the splurge.–The Editors of Cooking Light

LC Details, Details, Details Note

The original recipe, dear readers, called expressly for arctic char, which is, indeed, a lovely delicacy. Although to make this recipe more weeknight friendly the year through, we did a little experiment and tried it with salmon as well and were quite, quite content. Do as you please. As to the inevitable question of exactly how long the fish needs to be in the oven, hmmm. If you’ve already read the instructions in this recipe, then you know they are, admittedly, a little noncommittal, although there’s a reason for that. A lot of variables contribute to just how long is perfect when cooking something as delicate as fish, including the type of fish (arctic char and salmon do not need to be cooked through whereas striped bass and other white fish do) and the thickness of your fillets (we recommend fillets that are consistent in size—about 1 inch thick—so they all cook at the same pace). If using arctic char or salmon, natch, another variable is exactly how you prefer your fish cooked (whether squishy pink in the center or firm and opaque throughout). It may take a little educated guesswork, a little peeping inside your fillet with the tip of a knife, evan a little coaxing based on help from our recipe testers’ comments and experiences, which you’ll find beneath the recipe. We think it’ll turn out just fine. Let us know how it goes.

Salmon with Cherry Tomatoes

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and swirl to coat. Sprinkle the fillets with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the fillets, skin-side down, to the skillet and sauté for 2 minutes. Place the skillet in the oven until the salmon is the desired degree of doneness, about 3 minutes for medium-rare and up to 8 minutes for well-done, depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and sauté for 2 minutes or until the skins blister, stirring frequently. Remove the skillet from the heat. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, basil, and shallots over the tomato mixture and toss to combine. Spoon the tomato mixture over or alongside the salmon.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This was a simple, delicious recipe that I will certainly make again. Next time I’ll try to make it even more of a one-pan supper by roasting the tomatoes in the oven instead of on the stovetop. I did add a couple more minutes to the cooking time since I wanted my salmon a little more done. (My salmon fillets were about 3/4 inch thick.) The next day I flaked the leftover salmon, mixed in a dollop of mayonnaise, and had a delicious salmon salad.

This recipe produced some of the best-tasting, moistest salmon I’ve ever had, and the tomatoes were wonderful little explosions of sweet tartness. It’s a great weeknight meal as it’s fast and easy. Things do move quickly, so you need to have everything prepped and ready to go, including preheating the skillet for the tomatoes so it’s ready as soon as you put the salmon in the oven. I used salmon fillets that were about ¾ inch thick and it took them about 5 minutes in the oven to be just cooked through.


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  1. Keep in mind this comment is from the Pacific Northwest Coast, i.e., WA/OR. The fish in this recipe picture is waaaaaay over done. Perhaps it’s Atlantic salmon? In that case, why bother (regional snobbery). If it’s wild-caught, leave it a little pink inside and learn to tell if it’s done by pressing on it with your finger.

    1. Sheila, we were granted permission to use the photo by the book publisher, so we can’t say as to whether it’s Atlantic although we agree that it does miss that lovely orangish rosy hue of proper wild West Coast salmon. As for doneness, we respect how you like yours cooked, and we also respect that others prefer their salmon to flake. Fortunately we can each cook our own to our satisfaction! Thanks for the tip about pressing it with your finger. Hope you love this recipe!

  2. Nice recipe! Made for a guick easy dinner full of bright flavors. Will make this again. After reading the testers comments, I felt free to follow some ideas so we could make this with the ingredients at home. We were short on tomatoes and fresh basil but it came out great, although we would have enjoyed the full amount of tomatoes and the fresh basil. My garlic browned quickly (guessing my oil was to hot) so I pulled it out of the pan before blistering the tomatoes. Tossed our tomato mixture with some blanched snow peas and served it with orzo. A healthy meal on the table in under 25 minutes from from when I turned the oven on to preheat.

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