Recipe Review

Giada de Laurentiis’ Recipe for Salmon with Lemon-Caper Sauce Is a Delicious Dream Come True

published Mar 11, 2022
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salmon piccata in the pan
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk
Salmon Piccata

Because I grew up in coastal Virginia, I have been fortunate enough to taste a gamut of fresh fish including tilapia, swordfish, trout, and more. However, nothing has ever replaced my love for salmon. From croquettes to a spice-roasted treatment, salmon’s tasty versatility keeps me looking for new and exciting recipes. So, I was happy when I stumbled upon acclaimed chef and author Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe for salmon with lemon caper sauce (salmon piccata). This pescatarian-friendly twist on chicken piccata is an easy, go-to meal for anyone looking to save on time without sacrificing flavor. 

Start the dish by heating a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. While it’s heating, dry your washed salmon fillets with a paper towel, then season them with kosher salt. Then add olive oil and allow it to heat for 30 seconds. Next, add your fillets to the pan, flesh-side down, and cook them until they are a deep golden-brown. If the salmon looks cooked along the sides, you’ve got it right. To ensure both sides get some love, be sure to flip the fillet over and cook for an additional minute or until a thin metal skewer inserted into the thickest part of the fillet comes out warm to the touch. Using a spatula, you’ll remove the salmon and place it on a plate to rest.

Next, you’ll want to prepare the sauce by bringing the pan to medium heat. Add some shallot, kosher salt, and more oil if needed. While cooking, be sure to stir it frequently until it’s soft and fragrant — which takes about one minute. To keep the dish pescatarian-based, you can add clam juice instead of chicken broth along with lemon juice, capers, and lemon zest to the pan.

You’ll then allow the sauce to simmer, then reduce slightly. Next, whisk in mustard and butter until smooth and combined. Finish by stirring in parsley, and then spoon the sauce over the salmon. The rich flavor of salmon pairs perfectly with the zesty lemon and caper sauce. As a finishing touch, you can add some simple pasta, polenta, risotto, or even roasted vegetables, and you’ve got a well-balanced and flavorful meal. 

Check out Giada’s full recipe here.