This easy, informal, yet beautifully balanced dish represents the simple food Pepin says he has come to favor over the years. The recipe is adapted from The Essential Pepin, by Jacques Pepin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2011).
Makes 4 servings
4 salmon fillets, about 4 ounces each and 1/2-inch thick, skin removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tomatoes, peeled, halved, seeded (optional) and cut into 1/2-inch dice for about 2 cups
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
24 medium fresh basil leaves
Preheat the broiler. Brush the fillets on both sides with the oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Arrange on cookie sheet, ready to go under the broiler.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. When it is hot, add the tomatoes and saute over medium-high heat for about 1 minute to warm them. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the pepper and basil and set aside.
Place the fillets under the broiler about 2 inches from the heat and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. They should still be rare in the center.
Arrange some of the tomato-basil mixture on four plates and place the fillets on top.
Spoon the remaining tomato-basil mixture on top of the fish and serve.