John's First-Date Salmon Fillets

The dried-thyme crust on this salmon is one of my favorite contrasts for pinot noir because the herb's flavor really brings out the wine's rich cherry-raspberry fruit. Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 6 minutes.


6 servings (serving size: 1 salmon fillet and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar)

Nutritional Information

Calories 330
Fat 18 g
Satfat 6 g
Monofat 6 g
Polyfat 5 g
Protein 39 g
Carbohydrate 1 g
Fiber 0.0 g
Cholesterol 123 mg
Iron 2 mg
Sodium 227 mg
Calcium 33 mg


1 (2 1/4-pound) skinless center-cut salmon fillet (1 inch thick)
Cooking spray
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar


1. Cut the salmon fillet into 6 equal portions, and lightly spray both sides of each piece with cooking spray. Sprinkle with dried thyme, salt, and black pepper.

2. In a large skillet, heat butter on medium-high until foamy. Carefully place the fillets in the skillet. Cook the salmon; don't move fillets until the edges begin to crisp, about 2 minutes. Decrease heat to medium, and cook until fish is golden brown, about 1 minute more. Turn fillets and continue cooking until medium-rare and skin is crisped, about 3 minutes, depending on their thickness. Remove fillets to serving plates and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.