Lightly browned salmon steak is braised in lemon-butter sauce in this fish version of an Italian favorite. Salmon piccata rocks!
But… But… Isn’t there a similar recipe in the archive? Yes, there is. The main differences between this salmon piccata recipe and the pan-grilled salmon fillet with lemon-butter-garlic sauce is that the piccata sauce is made with pan drippings and the fish is braised in the sauce for a short time.
Which tastes better? They’re both good. Salmon piccata has a bolder fish flavor; the salmon with lemon-butter-garlic sauce has a richer buttery taste. I guess you have to try both to decide which is right for you.
This recipe uses salmon steaks (see the difference between fish steak and fillet). You may substitute salmon fillet but the dish does benefit from the added flavor from the fish bone.
- 1 salmon steak
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, lightly pounded
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained (optional)
- lettuce, to serve
- Pat the salmon steak dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a tablespoon of butter with the olive oil. Throw in the garlic cloves.
- Brown both sides of the salmon steak over high heat, about one minute per side. Scoop out and set aside (yes, it is still undercooked at this point).
- Add the lemon juice and capers to the pan. Scrape whatever browned bits there are and allow them to mix into the sauce (that's flavor!). Taste. Add salt and pepper, as needed.
- Return the salmon steak to the pan. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook the fish for one to two minutes.
- Meanwhile, arrange a bed of lettuce on a plate.
- Using a large spatula, lift the salmon steak and place on the lettuce-lined plate.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan and whisk just until incorporated.
- Spoon the sauce and capers over the fish. Spoon the rest of the sauce over the lettuce (yep, instant salad dressing!).
- Serve the salmon piccata immediately. By itself or with rice.