Wine-Poached Salmon with Dill

Thursday August 18, 2016

Word is that there is a lot more salmon coming since the three year moratorium giving time for the fishery to build up its stock again is lifted for salmon fishing on the West Coast. There are never enough recipes for salmon, the fish of choice for flavor and overall health. This recipe comes from my literary agent Martha Casselman; it is her creation and specialty at her house for those weeknight suppers. The method is unique. She lives on the edge of her vineyard, hence the nice white wine is de rigeur for the poaching liquid. The hot poaching liquid is spooned over the fillets so you do not have to turn the fish over in the pan. I like that. Its too easy to turn fish and have it break apart. This simple preparation gets rave reviews for its unique flavor and is a requested recipe. Martha always uses white pepper. Definitely use the fresh dill if you see it in the market.


Cooking Method: Stovetop

Cook Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Serves 4

wild salmon filets


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 individual 6- to 7-ounce salmon fillets, with skin left on (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 2 lemons, one cut in half, the other into thick wedges, for serving
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • About 1/2 to 1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


the liquid is halfway up the side, not submerged

In a large skillet, add the olive oil and butter over medium heat to just warm and melt. Arrange the salmon pieces, skin side down. Squeeze the lemon halves over the filets. Sprinkle the tops of the salmon with the dill, a sprinkle of salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pour in the wine, a bit more or less depending on the size of your skillet, to about halfway up the sides of the filet.

Bring the liquid to a high simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a gently bubbling simmer. Every few minutes, spoon some of the hot liquid over the top of each filet, tipping the pan slightly each time to gather the liquid. In between spooning over the wine, keep covered tightly. Remove the cover after 5 minutes and spoon the liquid over again. Do not turn fillets.

Cook until salmon is firm and no longer translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes total cooking time, depending on the thickness of the salmon. Remove from the pan and serve hot with lemon wedges for each portion.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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