Salmon with spinach, shallots and tarragon

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Salmon with spinach, shallots and tarragon

Most of us believe that global warming exists as a result of carbon dioxide emissions from various human activities. Many look to hybrid cars and other "green" products to be part of the solution. 

You can also make a difference with your fork and spoon. A significant amount of petroleum energy is used to grow the grains that are used in processed foods, fertilizers, and to feed the animals we eventually eat. The animals use energy to stand up much of their lives and to maintain their warm-blooded temperatures.

Fish, on the other hand, are cold-blooded and don't need to work to stand up. Wild fish are one of the ecologically best protein sources. Some farmed fish also meet high environmental standards. Check out Loch Duart to learn about good farmed salmon. 

It should be no surprise that this recipe features farmed Loch Duart salmon and spinach from our hospital's farmers' market. It is simple and delicious. 

This makes a really good dinner. Other fish would work also.

Servings: 2


  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 bunch spinach, de-stemmed or the equivalent in baby spinach leaves, washed and drained
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon (or 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


  1. Salt and pepper the salmon. 
  2. Heat the canola oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook the salmon about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through (10 minutes of almost any cooking method per inch of fish). Open the windows in your kitchen and turn on the kitchen fan or the next morning you will be reminded you ate salmon the night before. 
  3. Set the salmon aside and keep warm. 
  4. Add a tiny extra bit of canola to the skillet and sauté one-half of the shallots for about a minute. Stir in the tarragon. Add half the spinach leaves and cook until partially wilted. 
  5. Add the rest of the spinach and cook, stirring in the underlying shallots and tarragon. Season to taste. 
  6. Mound the spinach on warmed plates and top with a salmon fillet. 
  7. Sauté the remaining shallots, add white wine, and reduce a little. Pour this over the salmon and spinach.