Poached Salmon With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

One simple technique brings out the delicate flavor of this nutritious fish.

Poached Salmon

Makes four servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes


  •  4 cups cold water
  • Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 2 tbs.)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 3-in. chunks
  • 1 carrot, cut into 3-in. chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 4 6-oz. salmon fillets, skin and pin bones removed


  • In a 3-quart sauté pan or another low-sided pot just large enough to hold the salmon in a single layer, combine water with lemon juice, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, peppercorns, parsley, and a large pinch of salt.
  • Add the salmon to the poaching liquid. The water should just cover the salmon. Turn the burner to medium, and heat until the poaching liquid just starts to quiver. (Don’t bring the liquid to a full boil. The ideal poaching temperature is between 160 and 180 degrees F; use an instant-read kitchen thermometer to verify.)
  • Cover and cook the salmon for about 10 more minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon registers 115 degrees F.
  • Transfer the salmon to a plate or platter and allow to rest for five minutes. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, with topping of choice, such as Mint Chimichurri Sauce.

Tip: The fish will continue to cook when it’s out of the poaching liquid. Factoring in five minutes of carryover cooking is the key to moist fish.

Tip: Choose wild-caught salmon whenever possible to avoid the pollutants and antibiotics often found in farm-raised salmon (including “Atlantic salmon”).

For the Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Makes four servings
Prep time: 10 minutes


  • ¾ cup tightly packed fresh mint
  • ¾ cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh oregano (or 2 tbs. dried)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. red-pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, and process until well combined. Spoon over salmon fillets and serve.

Why No Numbers?

Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need. — The Editors

, MS, director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, is the author of several cookbooks, including The Healthy Mind Cookbook and The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, published by Ten Speed Press, Penguin Random House LLC, where some of these recipes originally appeared. She lives in San Rafael, Calif.

Photography by Andrea DAgosto; Prop Styling by Alicia Buszczak; Food Styling by Paul Jackman

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