The bold flavours coming out of this dish take the salmon up to another level. The rich and tangy tomato sauce combined with the anise flavour of the fennel brings a hint of Mediterranean flair to the dish. Eat it with rice, couscous or dip in a piece of bread to soak up this rich sauce.
A quick meal with bold flavours
My initial idea for the fennel was to use it to make bouillabaisse which is essentially a fish stew. I did not have all the ingredients in hand to make this dish and had to improvise. Then I came up with the idea of a rich tomato sauce (rather than a soup), simmered with herbs and fennel that requires a lot less ingredients than a bouillabaisse! The key to this recipe is searing the fish to lock in all the flavours before adding it to the sauce.
What you need for the Salmon in Tomato sauce recipe
Salmon: This dish can be made with fresh, frozen or even tinned Salmon!
Onion: It brings flavour and texture to the dish.
Fennel: The anise flavour of fennel marries perfectly with fish.
Spinach: Add the spinach at the end to thicken the sauce.
Tomatoes: Use fresh or tinned tomatoes. Also use a little tomato concentrate to thicken the sauce.
Parsley: It adds a herby flavour to the dish. It also contrasts with shades of red in the sauce.
Ginger and garlic: For added flavour.
Chilli: This is optional, however it adds a little kick to the dish.
Alternative ingredients: You can use any fish that is not too flaky as you want it to hold its shape when cooking. You can also swap fish for other seafood such as prawns, bearing in mind they take much less time to cook. Swap parsley for coriander or dill. Both herbs go well with fish.
Meat-free alternatives for this dish
Mushrooms go well with tomatoes. Fry the mushrooms before adding them to the sauce. You can also use tofu with other vegetables such as petits pois or green beans to make it a complete meal. For added protein have the dish with a side of brown lentils.
Salmon with Herb and Fennel Tomato sauce
- 250 g salmon
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 fennel sliced
- 1/2 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
- Fresh spinach leaves handful
- 2 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1/2 thumb ginger minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Fry the fish: Season the fish with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and sear the fish for 2 minutes on each side.
- Make the tomato sauce: In the same pan add 1 tbsp oil. Fry the onions and fennel for 2 minutes and add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato concentrate and add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add a little water to loosen the sauce if necessary.
- Add the fish: Place the salmon pieces in the sauce and cook for 10 minutes. Add the spinach before turning off the heat. Cover the pan to wilt the spinach.
- Garnish and serve: Finish off with a sprinkle of parsley and season to taste. Serve with steamed basmati rice.