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Pan Seared Salmon with Sautéed Spinach and Crème Fraîche

Pan Seared Salmon with Sautéed Spinach and Crème Fraîche

The past two posts  have been basically vegetarian, which I am not, nor will I ever be. It’s not that I don’t like veggies, or even vegetarians for that matter, but I just couldn’t live on vegetables alone. I did have the wild idea to become a fruititarian about a year ago. It didn’t work out. I think I made it three days before I caved out of stomach wrenching starvation and ate a Wendy’s Spicy Chicken sandwich.

In case you were wondering, there have actually been a few famous people who have attempted an all fruit diet. Ghandi — being the enlightened spiritual guru that he was — maintained his fruititarian lifestyle for an impressive stint of five years until his doctor recommended he stop due to unrelated health reasons. Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple computers, was also a fruititarian back in the 1970′s. Now, according to him, he’s a walking “garbage can” like the rest of us. The point is, not only am I not crazy, but I’m in impressive company. Though, I’m not proud of my current record of three days. Who knows, maybe I’ll try again some day.

Anyways, enough of this fruit n’ veggie talk. It’s time for some meat– or fish. Yep, fish is good. And it’s healthy. And you don’t have to needlessly starve yourself on fruit or veggies. We’re talkin’ a win-win situation here.

As it were, pan seared salmon with sautéed spinach in a molten lake of crème fraîche is one of my favorite “healthy” meals. Now, why is healthy in quotations, you ask? Well, there may be just a wee bit of butter, oil, and fat laden heavy cream thrown in the recipe somewhere. And it’s certainly not wild steamed spinach drizzled with fresh pressed olive oil topped shaved fresh hazelnuts stolen from the squirrels in your backyard. But come on, this is a fresh, home cooked meal — it’s healthy.

It’s also very easy. The entire process took a mere 12 minutes from start to finish. Not bad for a tasty, “healthy” meal, huh?

Pan Seared Salmon with Sautéed Spinach and Crème Fraîche (serves two):

  • 1/2 pound fresh salmon, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 9 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche, store-bought or homemade
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne, if desired

Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. In a non-stick or cast iron skillet, heat two tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat and place in salmon  skin side down. Cook for about 3 minutes per side. Once the salmon is finished, remove to a plate lined with a paper towel, leaving the skin side up so it remains crispy. Meanwhile, drain the oil from the pan and add in the 1 tablespoon butter. Once the butter is melted, toss in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant, but not browned. Quickly add in the spinach, parsley, and crème fraîche and cook until the spinach is fully wilted. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and cayenne if using. Remove to a plate, top with the salmon, and serve piping hot.

Tip: If you’re going for healthier than just “healthy,” replace part or all of the crème fraîche with chicken or vegetable stock. But don’t complain when it’s missing the luxuiorious tanginess of the molten hot crème fraîche!


1 Nhiro { 04.15.10 at 9:17 pm }

I couldn’t be a vegetarian either. Meat calls to me.

Also can’t blame you for caving into Wendy’s. I had some today, as a matter of fact.

That salmon looks fabulous. (:

2 Chase { 04.15.10 at 10:10 pm }


The Wendys Spicy Chicken sandwich I was craving yesterday was actually part of the inspiration for the story in this post, lol.

3 shayma { 04.16.10 at 7:56 am }

this is one of the most beautiful photos i have ever seen on tastespotting- what a gorgeous recipe.

4 Chase { 04.16.10 at 3:20 pm }

Shayma – you’re very kind! Thanks for the compliments!

5 Mom { 04.19.10 at 10:31 am }

Hey honey. It’s mom. The picture of the salmon is just beautiful. I actually have all of the ingredients for this dish and I think I will make it tonight. I will let you know how it goes. I will have to sub the creme fraiche with sourcream though.

6 Mary { 04.19.10 at 3:20 pm }

Just made this tonight– SO delish, and really quick! Excellent weeknight dinner.

7 sandra { 04.22.10 at 3:29 am }

Materials used in this dish is very nutritious.Therefore, the dish should be both delicious and nutritious.

8 sandra { 04.22.10 at 3:31 am }

I often eat spinach, but do not always eat salmon.

9 Priya { 08.25.11 at 8:34 pm }

Thank you for this delicious recipe! Just made it tonight with kale instead of spinach. Starting a sugar and flour free regimen and recipes like this make it easy!

10 barry { 04.16.12 at 8:05 pm }

I had salmon, had spinach but no creme fraiche but had greek yogurt that needed to be used up. I added a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar to the yogurt to take the acidic edge off and it turned out great. Many thanks!!!

11 What We’re Eating This Week & New Diet { 09.05.12 at 9:13 am }

[...] Salmon with Spinach and Creme Fraiche (escarole instead of spinach), sweet potato puree Wednesday- Roasted Chicken, [...]

12 Friday Five - Salmon addition - Feed Your Soul Too { 12.05.14 at 7:55 am }

[...] next preparation is right up my alley.  I love paring my salmon with spinach.  This is a Pan Seared Salmon with Sauteed Spinach and Creme Fraiche prepared by Chase [...]

13 Susan { 02.27.19 at 3:55 am }

So I can’t have dairy, so I was thinking of trying a combination of vegetable stock and coconut cream. Do you think that would work?

14 Kris Cronan { 04.24.20 at 7:10 pm }


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