Pan Seared Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce

This Pan-Seared Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce and Veggie Nests is a beautiful main course for any special occasion! The rich Beurre Blanc Sauce, combined with the crunchy veggie nests, and fresh parsley make this dish both fresh and decadent all at the same time.

And it’s also a very pretty plate too, which makes it perfect for Easter Sunday, Mother’s Day, or Anniversaries too! For more romantic dinner ideas see my 7 Valentine’s Day Dinner Ideas post. 

Beurre Blanc Sauce on top of Salmon and Veggie Nests on a gray plate

Recipe Pairing Ideas:

What is Beurre Blanc Sauce? 

  • A beurre blanc sauce is a popular French sauce, originating from the Loire Valley in France.
  • It is made from reducing white wine (Muscadet or Sauvignon Blanc) shallots and typically some kind of herb (parsley, thyme, tarragon) adding heavy cream, and then creating an “emulsion” by slowly adding butter cubes into the sauce, little by little until thick and creamy.
  • It’s typically served with fish, and the combination of flakey fish with this rich delicious sauce is just divine!
  • For a wonderful French sauce served with Chicken try my 15-Minute Chicken Dijon recipe.

Vertical Image of Seared Salmon with a French-Style Buerre Blanc Sauce and Thinly Sliced Vegetable Nests

This salmon recipe really looks spectacular on a bed of veggie noodles you can create using this handy gadget called “The Peel of Fortune” by Vremi.

Peel of Fortune by Vremi Vegetable Peeler

Watch My Video Demo of This Recipe Below!

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Step 1: Make the Veggie Nests

  • I like to use a combination of colors for the best visual effect. I like zucchini, carrots, yellow squash, and asparagus.
  • I serve these veggies raw, which sounds strange, but it’s the perfect texture to go with the decadent sauce and tender fish.
  • If you prefer to cook them, you can sauté with olive oil or butter for a few minutes.

Veggie nests on a maple cutting board

Using “The Peel of Fortune” on the julienne setting, carefully glide the peeler toward you along the length of the vegetable. It will look like the peels are coming off in large strips, but they separate into smaller “noodles”.

Peeling Zucchini for a Veggie Nest

Place in a bowl and round the edges of the stack for a “nest” effect. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.

I like to portion these out ahead of time, so they are all ready to go when the salmon is done.

Step 2: Make the Beurre Blanc Sauce

Beurre Blanc sauce comes from Loire Valley in France, where my husband was born, and also where we were married. We served this sauce at our wedding and my relatives from the States couldn’t stop talking about this sauce!

To a saucepan, you’ll add white wine, shallots, and parsley. The wine, shallots, and parsley form the basis of the rich flavor of the sauce.

white wine, shallots, and herbs in a sauce pot

You’ll simmer this mixture until almost completely evaporated. We really want a pan that is almost dry without any liquid remaining. This concentrates the flavor back into the shallots and parsley that remains.

Reduced wine, shallots and parsley in a sauce pot

Then, add heavy cream to the same saucepan and whisk. The heavy cream creates a wonderful richness to this sauce which will be even better once you add the butter!

Adding cream in a pot for the start of a Beurre Blanc Sauce

Adding The Butter

  • Next, slowly add the butter. This is where the emulsion comes into play. You’ll add the butter slowly, a little at a time, to assure it combines and thickens with the sauce.
  • Since we are working with a whole stick of butter (yes, I know!), make sure it is chilled and right out of the fridge.
  • You can cube this butter by cutting lengthwise, then turning the stick vertically, and cutting lengthwise again.
  • Then, you can cut across the stick of butter, like usual, to get even and small cubes. This way, you can be sure you aren’t adding too much at a time. Take your time and add little by little.

Adding butter cubes to a sauce pot

As you add the butter, be sure to keep it on a low flame and whisk all the while.

Melting butter in a Beurre Blanc Sauce

You will question your sanity (and mine) as you add all of the butter, but trust me. The sauce really does need it, and it will not taste like a butter bomb once the recipe is complete. Despite the amount of butter, this sauce feels and tastes so light, which is what makes it so dangerous!

Once all of the butter has been added, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a Pyrex pitcher, then add the mixture back to the saucepan.

Buerre Blanc Sauce strained into measuring pitcher

This will create a nice, smooth sauce! Continue to keep this on a low flame.

Buerre blanc sauce strained in a Pyrex Pitcher

If you forget about your sauce and it begins to boil, the sauce is broken. You will notice immediately that the butter has separated and looks like it’s all on top instead of well-blended. But don’t worry, we can fix it!

How Do You Fix a Broken Beurre Blanc Sauce? 

  • If you add the butter too fast and it doesn’t emulsify properly you’ll have what’s known as a “broken sauce”.
  • The best way to fix a broken Beurre Blanc sauce is to add 1 tsp of water in a bowl and slowly add the broken sauce in a steady stream, whisking all the while until it comes back together.
  • Then you can slowly reheat it on the stovetop under a very low flame.

 Broken Beurre Blanc Sauce in a sauce pan

Can You Reheat a Beurre Blanc Sauce?

  • Personally, I have not had success with reheating a Beurre Blanc sauce from a refrigerated state.
  • This sauce is really best made right on the spot and kept on the lowest flame possible before serving.
  • However, if you must make it an hour or so before I would recommend keeping it warm in a thermos and then reheating slowly to the desired temperature in a saucepan.
  • But don’t take the heat too high or you will break the sauce and it will separate.

Step 3: Prepare the Salmon

For this recipe, we are working with six-ounce salmon fillets which will be seared in a non-stick and oven-safe pan. Be sure your skillet is oven-safe!

Place the salmon on a place or cutting board with the skin side down, and salt and pepper the tops.

Salmon fillets being seasoned with salt on a white plate

Heat a non-stick skillet, until very hot, and melt a spoonful of coconut oil in the pan. I like to use coconut oil for this recipe because it creates a nice, toasted color on the fish. Don’t worry, the coconut flavor is very faint and will not impact the flavors of the dish.

Lay the fillets in the pan skin side up in the pan.

Salmon searing in a pan skin side up

Allow the fish to get a really nice sear by waiting until the bottom turns a little opaque, or light pink. When the bottom turns opaque, gently flip the fish to the skin side down.

Two Salmon filets seared in pan

Place the pan into a 350F (175C) degree oven for about 6-8 minutes for two fillets. This is a similar technique I use with my Summer Salmon Recipe Served with Tzatziki Sauce and my Pan-Seared Salmon with Roasted Vegetables, both equally good!

Salmon seared in a pan going in the oven

How do you know when salmon is done?

The FDA says salmon is safe to eat at 145F (62C) degrees, but the longer salmon is cooked, the more moisture and flavor it loses. I think 145F degrees is perfect for a tender, flaky and moist piece of fish.

Once your salmon is done, place salmon on top of veggie nests and spoon the Beurre Blanc sauce over the fish. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve!

Pan Seared Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce on Veggie Nests

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Seared Salmon Recipe on a Veggie Nest

Pan-Seared Salmon Recipe with Beurre Blanc Sauce

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Pan Seared Salmon with Beurre Blanc Sauce. A wonderful dish for elegant entertaining! A classic French recipe, Buerre Blanc Sauce is easy to master if you follow my tips!

Ingredients

  • (4) 6oz Salmon fillets
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadet)
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) shallots, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) heavy cream
  • 8 tbsp (120g) butter, diced into small cubes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 4 asparagus spears
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil + more for searing fish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Set the “Peel of Fortune” vegetable peeler to the julienne setting. Peel 3 turns of each vegetable for each person (12 turns total). Transfer to a large bowl, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, simmer shallots, wine and parsley until the liquid is completely evaporated and the pan is “almost dry”. Add heavy cream. Keeping your saucepan on low, add the butter, in 1 tbsp increments, whisking gently until all the butter has been used. Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve and keep sauce on very low flame until ready to serve.
  3. Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, sear fish top side down, until golden brown, flip and then place in a 350F (175C) oven for 8-10 mins.
  4. Place fish on veggie ribbons and spoon sauce over the fish. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Notes

How do you know when salmon is done?

The FDA says salmon is safe to eat at 145F (62C) degrees, but the longer salmon is cooked, the more moisture and flavor it loses. I think 145F degrees is perfect for a tender, flaky and moist piece of fish.

Can You Reheat a Beurre Blanc Sauce?

Personally I have not had success with reheating a Beurre Blanc sauce from a refrigerated state.  This sauce is really best made right on the spot and kept on the lowest flame possible before serving. However, if you must make it an hour or so before I would recommend keeping it warm in a thermos and then reheating slowly to the desired temperature in a saucepan. But don't take the heat too high or you will break the sauce and it will separate.

How Do You Fix a Broken Beurre Blanc Sauce? 

If you add the butter too fast and it doesn't emulsify properly you'll have what's known as a "broken sauce". The best way to fix a broken Beurre Blanc sauce is to add 1 tsp of water in a bowl and slowly add the broken sauce in a steady stream, whisking all the while until it comes back together.  Then you can slowly reheat it in the stovetop under a very low flame.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 151mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 25g
Brownie cake scooped into a mug with ice cream

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12 Comments

  1. This was absolutely the BEST salmon ever. My guests – all 12 of them – left nothing on their plates. The sauce made it restaurant quality. I made the sauce about 4 hrs ahead and kept it perfectly warm on the warm setting in a small crock pot I have
    Thank you Beth for another successful recipe.

  2. Delicious! My husband and I love it! I didn’t mess up the sauce ☺️but I double the amount to have plenty on my salmon. The veggies also delicious no need to cook.

  3. Delicious and beautiful recipe! Due to a dairy intolerance, I used plant-based heavy cream and Miyoko’s Creamery vegan butter in place of dairy, and it still turned out wonderfully! I usually just oven roast my salmon, but my husband loved the crispness from the sear so from now on I’ll be searing then baking to finish. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  4. Made this tonight and everyone raved about it. My 18 month old cleaned her plate, got out of her chair, and went around to everyone else’s plate looking for more! Plus it was super easy to make. I’ll definitely be adding this to my salmon rotation. Thank you for posting!!