Megan and I nearly forgot that we had frozen salmon fillets tucked away in the back of our freezer. This particular salmon came from a fishing trip that Megan’s dad (Rudy), Megan’s sister’s fiance (Brent) and myself went on back in July of 2013. The last time I went out on the ocean I got sea sick, but that was over a decade ago. So, I thought to myself, I’m all grown up now, I can handle it. Well this was by far the most miserable time I have ever spent on a boat and is perhaps the reason why the salmon was abandoned in the freezer. Rudy ended up catching his limit of two salmon and Brent came home empty handed, but at least not with an empty stomach like myself.

Gabe, Brent and Rudy on Salmon Fishing Trip

Rudy's big catch

Knowing that this salmon didn’t need much in order to taste amazing, we thought this salmon and cherry tomato recipe was just right. It doesn’t mask the taste of the salmon, which is great since Rudy would never forgive me for ruining his big catch. The melting tomatoes are a perfect side or can even be placed on top of the salmon. We cooked a side of french string beans to go along with it. We hope you enjoy the dish!

Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes

Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes

Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes

Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes

Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes

Salmon and Cherry Tomatoes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings


Olive oil

1 cup chopped sweet onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)

2 cups (1 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved through the stem

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1½ tablespoons juilienned fresh basil leaves

1 (1-pound) salmon fillet, cut crosswise into 2 pieces


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onion and saute over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the tomato sauce thickens slightly. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the vinegar and basil.

Place a large 12-inch cast-iron pan over high heat for 5 minutes. Brush the salmon all over with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and place it skin side up in the pan. Cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes without moving, until browned. Turn the salmon skin side down with a metal spatula and transfer the pan to the oven for 8 minutes. (The salmon will not be completely cooked through).

Remove the fish to a serving platter, cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes to finish cooking.

Reheat the tomatoes, season to taste and serve hot, warm or at room temperature with the salmon.

Recipe inspired by Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook.