Salmon with Tomato, Onions, and Capers

Every year in mid September, my friend Jim organizes a group of his friends to go salmon fishing off the coast of Marin, north of San Francisco. For the second year in a row, I didn’t a catch a fish; Jim however was luckier, and I lucky to be his friend as I got to take some gorgeous salmon home with me. Here is how we cooked it up today – poached in a tomato, onion, lemon, and caper sauce.

Salmon with Tomato, Onions, and Capers Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • The juice of one meyer lemon, or half a regular lemon with a teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped jalapeño peppers (no seeds, no stem, no ribs) either fresh or pickled
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 fresh salmon fillets, 1/2 lb each


1 In a large, wide (at least 12 inches wide) saucepan (one that comes with a cover), heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, capers, and jalapeño peppers. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding a little water if needed to prevent the sauce from getting too dry. Salt and pepper to taste.

2 Add 1/3 a cup of white wine - a simple Chardonnay will work. Add 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a simmer. Place the fillets in the pan on top of the sauce, skin side down, if the fillets are still in their skin. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on how thick the cuts of fish are. Poke the fish with a fork and look for doneness. The fish should still be somewhat rare in the middle, but not raw. Serve immediately, with tomato sauce generously applied.

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Showing 4 of 9 Comments

  • Julie

    This was one of the best salmon dishes I had in a while! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Leea

    Made this for dinner guest, had a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and used instead of fresh. Everyone really enjoyed this dish.

  • Alicia

    I really enjoyed this recipe, I eat salmon all the time and this was a new, tasty way to prepare it. Even my 2 year old enjoyed it! Thanks!

  • Wayne

    This was a great recipe…
    Thanks for sharing…
    I had a bottle of capers just begging for use.
    The tastes blended well together.

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