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Pan Roasted Salmon with a Fennel and Pear Vinaigrette


  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 2 small heads (6 ounces each) of fennel, cored and cut into ¼ inch wedges
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (4 ounce) firm-ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce salmon filets, skin on, scaled and scored
  • Fennel fronds, for garnish


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil on a 12 inch saute pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the fennel, 1 teaspoon rosemary and ¼ teaspoon salt; saute, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden and just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the pears and toss to combine well. Saute until just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and set aside until ready to use.


    Fill a dry measure ¼ cup with some of the fennel and pear. Place in a blender with the vinegar, shallots, agave nectar, mustard, the remaining ½ teaspoon of rosemary, ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Blend well. Carefully drizzle the remaining ½ cup of oil in a slow steady stream until the vinaigrette is completely emulsified. Transfer to a serving dish and set aside until ready to use.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.


    Dry the salmon on both sides with paper towels. Season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to a 12 inch saute pan and heat over medium-high heat. Cook salmon skin side down until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Turn the filets over to flesh side and cook for 1 minute before transferring the pan to the oven for 5 minutes.


    Divide the fennel and pear amongst for serving plates, creating a “bed” in the center. Drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Remove the filets from the oven and place the filets over the fennel and pear mixture. Drizzle with more of the vinaigrette and garnish with the fennel fronds. Serve immediately.

Recipe Details