Mustard crusted salmon | Leek tombée | Black olive tapenade

I had a dish like this a few years ago when I visited a winery in Sonoma County.

Of course, it was magnificently paired with their wine, white or red works well with this dish, it’s your choice, really.

”Faire tomber”, in French cooking, means cooking something, usually a vegetable rich in water, over very low heat, until most of the water has evaporated. A tombée is the result of such an action.

For the tapenade, I omitted the anchovies because I already had a fish component with the salmon, but you could add one or two anchovy fillets if you wish. Some recipes for tapenade include Dijon mustard, so I thought coating the fish with it would be a nice complement.

The sweetness of the leeks complements the saltiness of the olives and makes for a perfectly balanced dish. I hope you will enjoy it!

Salmon with tapenade

Ingredients: (for 2 people)


For the tapenade:

1/2 cup black olives (Gaeta, Kalamata, sun dried black olives)
1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained and grossly chopped
1 clove garlic, grated
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 large basil leaves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (the juice of half a lemon)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.


For the leek tombée:

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
salt and pepper


1. In a skillet over low heat (the lowest heat possible), melt the butter and add the oil.

2. Add the chopped leeks with a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft but not coloured, 15 to 20 minutes. If the leeks start colouring, add a bit of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent this.

3. When the leeks are soft, add the wine (if using) and reduce until completely dry.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


For the salmon:

1 salmon fillet per person
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
olive oil


Preheat the oven to 400 °F.

1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper all over, keeping in mind that both the mustard and olives are quite salty. Be more generous with pepper.

2. Brush the mustard on the flesh side of the fish and spread it evenly.

3. Put a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add a bit of oil, then add the salmon fillets, mustard side down, and cook without disturbing for two minutes.

4. Turn the salmon over and transfer to the oven and cook for 7-9 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

5. Serve immediately on warm plates.

Salmon with tapenade


Categories: Mains

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