4 servings
30 minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking, 40 minutes total
Salmon fillets are poached briefly, then served with a ravigote sauce. Ravigoter means "to invigorate" in French, and this sauce, containing tomatoes, scallions, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil, awakens the taste buds and complements the salmon. The pickled capers lend wonderful piquancy to the sauce.


  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each and 1-1/2 inches thick)


  • 2 plum tomatoes (5 ounces total), halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
  • 2-3 scallions, trimmed (leaving some green) and chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion, rinsed in a sieve and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


1. For the sauce: Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil in a large stainless steel saucepan. Add the salmon to the pan and bring the water back to a boil over high heat (this will take about 2 minutes). Immediately turn off the heat, or slide the pan off the heat if using an electric stove, and let the salmon steep in the hot liquid for 5 minutes. (The salmon will be slightly underdone in the center at this point; adjust the cooking time to accommodate thicker or thinner fillets and to satisfy your personal taste preference.)

3. Remove the fillets from the liquid with a large spatula or skimmer, drain them well, and place on four warm plates. Sponge up any liquid that collects around the fillets with paper towels, then spoon the sauce over and around the fillets and serve.

Reprinted from Essential Pépin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food by Jacques Pépin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011). Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Illustrations copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used with permission of the publisher.