Pan-Seared Salmon with Tomato, Basil, and Balsamic Topping

Don’t be afraid to let the top surface of the salmon get deeply browned. You can prevent the fish from getting overcooked by decreasing your cooking time on the second (under) side—that way, you ensure a truly crisp crust on top.

Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, about 1-1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until starting to wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the basil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Keep warm.
  2. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and return to the stove over medium heat. Sprinkle salmon with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add to the skillet, skin side up, and cook until nicely browned, about 6 minutes. Turn over and cook until skin is crisp and fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5-6 more minutes. Transfer salmon to each of 4 serving plates and top each with 1/4 of the tomato mixture.