Many moons ago, Patty and I had a salmon dish at a local Boston restaurant that was topped with a creamy avocado based sauce. I tried to recreate a similar sauce later at home with several variations of avocado, cream, yogurt, and ranch dressing, but nothing was quite right. It tasted artificial and gross—so I shelved the idea.
Fast forward nearly two years later when I stumbled upon a creamy avocado pasta that consisted of well, pasta, and a creamy sauce made with avocado, garlic, basil, lemon, and olive oil. The dish was fantastic (more on this later), but the creamy avocado sauce? It was the answer to the equation I was looking for.
Enter pan-seared salmon with creamy avocado sauce.
Avocado is the perfect topping for salmon. It’s tastes like a combination of pesto and avocado sauce. The foundation of the sauce is fresh avocado, with added cream and olive oil to make the sauce a little thinner. Turns out, I was overcomplicating the sauce by adding yogurt and ranch dressing. Fresh basil was the missing flavor I needed to pull it all together. The basil gives the sauce a pesto-like flare and carries a lot of flavor.
I recommend pan searing the salmon (or grilling). Baking salmon is great, but pan searing offers a crispier seared edge. I think it better compliments the sauce. A creamy sauce calls for crispier salmon. Now, for all of you who may be intimidated by cooking seafood. Fear not, salmon is one of the EASIEST entrées to cook. It’s good prepared medium-rare AND well done and flakey. Simply pan sear salmon in a little olive oil on medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes per side. That’s it. Top with creamy avocado sauce and serve with a lemon wedge. P.S. The more sauce, the better.
- 4 6-8 ounce salmon filets, skin removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh minced basil, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Creamy Avocado Sauce:
- 1 ripe avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (half a lemon)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ light cream or half and half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine creamy avocado sauce ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth and creamy, set aside.
- Season salmon filets with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil, over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add salmon filets and sear for 5-6 minutes. Flip and sear for 5-6 additional minutes.
- Transfer salmon filets to a plate and top with creamy avocado sauce. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve immediately with a lemon wedge.
Adapted From: The Comfort of Cooking