Olive Oil-Poached Salmon Belly Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette


There are rumors out there that chefs keep the best cuts of meat or fish for themselves. While i should really try to extinguish such rumors i’m gonna go ahead and admit my guilt and point my finger at my fellow professionals as well. Chefs are bastards after all, for the most part.

I’m guilty my friends, guilty to have used the thicker part of the salmon filet for a business lunch and shamelessly saved for myself the fatty salmon goodness that is the belly. Since no crime remains unpaid i fully expect the karma police to hit me in the face with a steak tough like a shoe pad in the near future. A rubber chicken could hit me in the {beeeeep} and i would still think the moment of bliss provided by this salmon ‘confit’ was worth it. I would normally eat salmon belly sashimi style but i thought, hey.. let’s poach it in olive oil infused with herbs and garlic this time, just to see what happens. And so i did and it was good. Very good. The salmon belly didn’t seem to mind either. My own belly was happy too. Two happy bellies. One innocent and one guilty.


To honor the happy bellies i roasted some beets, fingerling potatoes and onions, soft boiled some quail eggs and made a salad with frisee and red leaf lettuce (i wanted to use dandelion but couldn’t find any). Made a mustard vinaigrette. Tossed some fines herbs and fleur de sel over the salmon and that’s about it. This would make a very nice lunch or a first course for a dinner but it taste better hiding in a dark corner, not sharing with anyone.

Enjoy, while i get my ass kicked by a mob of angry chefs.

  • Olive Oil-Poached Salmon Belly Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

  • salmon-salad-3

    • Serves 4
    • For the salmon confit:
    • 1 lb salmon belly
    • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
    • Bouquet garni
    • 1 garlic clove, smashed
    • a few grains of black pepper
    • For the salad:
    • 4 small beets, roasted in foil and peeled
    • 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes, roasted
    • 1 cup cippoline onions, roasted
    • 1 frisee lettuce, cleaned and roughly chopped
    • 1 red leaf lettuce, cleaned and roughly chopped
    • 12 quail eggs
    • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chervil, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, chopped
    • fleur de sel and cracked pepper
    • For the mustard vinaigrette:
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (you could use the oil you used for the salmon)
    • salt and black pepper to taste
    • For the salmon confit:
    • Combine the olive oil with the bouquet garni, garlic and black peppercorn in a small, shallow saucepan. Heat over very low heat until the oil reaches 150’F.
    • Add the salmon and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the salmon just begins to firm up. Carefully lift the salmon from the pan and place on paper towels to drain. You could use the oil in the mustard vinaigrette, you can also re-use the flavored oil to make more or in shrimp ceviche, etc…


  • For the mustard vinaigrette:
  • Whisk the egg yolk in a small bowl with mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Adjust seasoning.
  • For the salad:
  • Mix the parsley, chervil, chives and tarragon and reserve.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Carefully put the quail eggs inside and boil for 2 minutes. Run immediately under cold water and peel the shell.
  • Slice the beets and the potatoes and toss all the ingredients of the salad together with the mustard vinaigrette. (except the herbs and the quail eggs).
  • Dress the salad, divide the salmon confit among the plates and sprinkle with the fines herbs, some fleur de sel and some cracked pepper, slice and arrange the quail eggs around the salmon.
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  • http://www.hollyhadsellentertaining.com/ Holly

    I love the olive oil poached/ butter poached method. Your mix of ingredients and great I want to eat it right now.

  • Yasamin Beitollahi

    Beets, salmon, AND potatoes? Ah, these are a few of my favorite things… looks delicious!

  • http://www.elinluv.blogspot.com Elin

    I can’t believe that given a piece of salmon belly and you can turned it into something so wonderful. Love it and thanks for sharing it…you have not just taken the best for yourself but you share the best with us too..woa * you better watch ur back..some chefs gonna hit you hard :p

  • http://vanillakitchen.blogspot.com dawn

    yes leave it to you to make the not-so-good cuts of proteins look this good. you’re such a rockstar.

  • http://mllenoelle.wordpress.com mlle noëlle of simmer down

    Can this technique be used with any cut of salmon, if a person wasn’t able to obtain the belly (perhaps because some greedy chef had already appropriated it)? :)

  • http://www.alittlebitofchristo.blogspot.com doggybloggy

    I feel sneaky just reading this…..

  • http://www.mattikaarts.com/blog matt

    absolutely my kind of food. Salmon belly is by far my favorite cut from that lovely fish – and like you tend to keep it for myself!

  • http://www.chefgui.com chef gui


    nice, nice photos. and great food too. particularly like the “mollet” eggs.

  • http://justcooknyc.blogspot.com/ justcooknyc

    two happy bellies… that’s hysterical

  • http://www.culinarydisaster.com/wordpress Jeff

    You are a bastard for stealing the good pieces and not serving them to me :-)

    Confit anything is a beautiful thing. now I have a desire to confit duck for some strange reason.

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    Hey, times are tough. We’ve all got to look out for our … bellies.

  • http://cakeonthebrain.blogspot.com cakebrain

    woo! poached in olive oil? sounds yum! at our local market, they’re practically giving away salmon belly. can you imagine that? I snatched two salmon heads with the bellies today. Your pics are particularly enticing and I’m wondering when you’re going to come out with your coffee table cookbook?!

  • http://mochachocolatarita.blogspot.com mochachocolatarita

    doesn’t everything sound (i.e.more expensive) when the name includes things like “confit” or “vinaigrette”…will my banana related goods sound better too? banana confit with lemon vinaigrette 9is there such a thing?)….ohhh like a song to my ear. lalala~

  • http://www.my-easy-cooking.com nina

    Geezz, somehow I have lost your feed and haven’t been here in ages and I am stunned at all the lovely recipes that I have missed!!! Do you mind if I stay a while and just indulge???

  • http://www.gratinee.wordpress.com Darina

    Loved your writing here. Verywitty–made me laugh. And the pics are fab, of course. As always.

  • http://www,bigboysoven.com Big Boys Oven


    I wonder if we use raw sliced salmon for this salad! 😉

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com Pigpigscorner

    That’s pure evil! I demand my share now!

  • http://www.californiariceoil.com Ellen

    I could eat this right now and I would be so happy!

  • http://itsnotyouitsbrie.com Its Not You, it’s Brie

    Oh my lord, are you able to walk after eating this and your morning croissant?

  • http://www.kitchenbutterfly.com/ Kitchen Butterfly

    Yum, yum, yum. With tea-smoke salmon, this would be fantastic

  • http://geothermalquest.net Betty

    Beautiful site!Love the pictures and great information-Thanks,Betty http://www.geothermalquestions.net

  • http://www.bitemekitchen.blogspot.com Rose

    Mmmm Salmon BELLY! Mmmmmmmmmm… Oh, the salad looks nice :) We are all bastards, it’s true. Better a bastard with a happy belly though.

  • http://whiteonricecouple.com White On Rice Couple

    Whoa, this is simply stunning and delicious! The textures and flavors just pop off screen! We’re excited about those fingerling potatoes. Amazing work!

  • http://www.medifasthealth.org Bill Medifast

    Salmon is great any day. It is something I could eat everyday if my wife would let me. Do not feel bad for saving yourself the best part. It worked great for this recipe and you truly do deserve it.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, going to try it out.

    Bill M.

  • http://playill.info Dalia Havenhill

    Great blog and post, keep it up i will be subscribing to your feed!

  • http://www.pozycjonowanie-google.us/ pozycjonowanie gdańsk

    i know this is not exactly on topic, but i have a blog using the blogengine platform as well and i’m having issues with my comments displaying. is there a setting i am forgetting? maybe you could help me out? thank you.

  • http://www.stuartosoliveoil.com Olive Oil Lexington

    Mmmmmmm, this sounds awesome thanks!

  • drtljonesged

    you know..nobody actually made this.. Interestingly, I have poached fingerling potatoes in olive oil..interesting..and where do us plebes find ‘quail eggs’..oh maybe, we can raid a pigeon’s nest, in season?

  • drtljonesged

    folks’ cooking skills have all but disappeared.. BUT the recipe is missing stuff as well.. how long do we roast the onions, the beets, the potatoes?..oh, he forgot..crap

  • zenchef

    Oh you sound so angry! Maybe you should try to get a life, no? Or stick to Rice-O-Roni.

  • zenchef

    You know, every two or three years I get a comment like this. You must live a sad, pathetic life my friend.

  • drtljonesged

    I read the comments and no one had seemingly made the dish.. Also there were no times and temps for roasting beets/taters et.al. Similarly, quail eggs aren’t exactly off the shelf items. For many (most?) reading about food is replacing actually making it..

    You seem more than defensive, besides personally insulting. Perhaps some ‘meditation’ might help.

  • zenchef

    If someone came to your home with an offensive and disrespectful attitude you would tell them to get lost too, no? This blog is aimed at adventurous cooks. It’s about sharing what I learn along the way and it’s not meant as a beginner’s course. There are plenty of informations on roasting potatoes and beets on the internet so I do, occasionally, skip those steps on some recipes. Quail eggs aren’t so hard to find these days and if they still are in some areas they could be easily substituted with hen eggs. I welcome feedback but what you wrote doesn’t qualify as constructive criticism. It was just plain mean. There are plenty of other recipe sites that you would find more to your liking, the same way plenty of people find what they are looking for here.

  • Thomassin

    Do you recommend serving the entire meal warm (except the greens) or just a warm salmon with cold beets and potatoes? Thanks.

  • S

    Roast them until they are DONE! Check them, vegetables come in all different sizes. If he tells you 15 mins. and they’re not done, are going to eat them b/c the recipe said 15 mins. You should learn how to cook before coming to a site like this.