Salmon (or shad) with onion/caper confit and charred scallions

Salmon (or shad) with onion_caper confit and charred scallions


Since we’re in the midst of spring with the delicate baby greens in the markets, we thought it would be fitting to feature a fish we see on the Atlantic coast at this time of year – the flavorful shad. These fatty fish appear on the east coast for a short time in the spring and then swim off to an unknown location for the rest of the year. They are delicious and meaty, like salmon, and full of omega-3 fatty acids. The only caveat, is that they have many tiny bones, most of which the fishmonger removes. If you’re not feeling adventurous, use salmon. Either way, the recipe will be delicious.


Recipe by: Arlene Jacobs   Serves 4



1-1/2 lbs. shad or salmon fillets, in 4-inch portions

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 tbsp. grapeseed oil or other vegetable oil

8 whole scallions, trimmed

2 cups baby arugula



  1. In a large (10 to 12-inch) heavy skillet, heat 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil until smoking. Season and add the scallions and sear for about 1 minute on each side until charred. Remove and set aside.
  2. Season the salmon or shad, and add to the same pan over medium-high heat, skin side down. Cook for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and flip the fillets with a flat spatula. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Toss the arugula with the vinaigrette and arrange on the bottom the plates. Place the fish on the greens and top with some of the onion compote (see below). Sprinkle with the additional capers and drizzle remaining vinaigrette around the plate.
Related Post:  Cheese and Herb Souffle


Onion Confit:


2 tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil

2 sweet onions, (like Vidalia), cut in half from stem to root end, and thinly sliced

1 tsp. finely minced garlic

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tsps. chopped thyme

1–2 tsps. honey (depending on the sweetness of the onions)

½ tsp. anchovy paste (optional)

2 tbsps. balsamic vinegar



  1. In an 11-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high for 1-2 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and toss to coat with the oil. Add the thyme, season liberally and continue to cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are very soft and golden.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the onions, add the anchovy paste and stir until it softens. Add the honey and balsamic vinegar, stir well and cook for about 3 minutes more. Check seasonings.


Shallot Vinaigrette:


5 tbsps. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. honey

Salt & pepper, to taste

1 /4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon finely minced shallots


Using a whisk, combine the balsamic vinegar, honey, salt & pepper. Slowly add the olive oil. Add the shallots and adjust the seasonings.


HINT: Save any extra confit to serve on croutons with cheese, or to put on pasta or pizza.











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2 thoughts on “Salmon (or shad) with onion/caper confit and charred scallions

  1. Alison Videto says:

    The recipe says to “sprinkle [the fish] with the additional capers,” but I don’t see capers mentioned anywhere else in the recipe or in the ingredient lists? Is this a reference to a missing portion of the recipe? Or just oddly worded?

    1. jennyberk says:

      Sorry Alison! I think it must be oddly worded! I will change it. Thanks for the feedback!

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