Salmon Steaks with Tarragon

Summer is officially here! Even at nearly 7,200 ft. in elevation, my peonies got word of the summer solstice and have burst into full bloom, and I am suddenly experiencing the need for fresh, simple food prepared on the grill. 

The long days sap my energy for cooking anything too elaborate, and mostly, I hand the culinary reins over to Dave at the grill. Food this time of year should be about the ingredients, and we try to make good use of the herb garden.

This preparation of salmon takes just a few short minutes, and the freshness of the tarragon and fish is they key to its flavor. Perfect for anyone who is short on time, or short on energy at the end of a hot summer day.

Dave served these steaks with a fresh green salad, and some ciabatta I had picked up. A glass of rosé, and we were quite happy to kick off the first night of summer dining al fresco!

Salmon Steaks with Tarragon

recipe by David Kunstle

Note: If you want perfect fish, you need to have an accurate meat thermometer to get it right. Salmon should be about 120°-125° F for medium-rare, (give it a couple minutes more if you want, but be careful as you don’t want to dry out the fish).


  • salmon steaks (one per person), about 1.5 inches thick (we used wild-caught Coho)
  • handful of fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt


  1. Begin by rubbing the salmon steaks all over with the olive oil, then sprinkle generously with sea salt on both sides.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with about 2/3 of the tarragon leaves (reserving the rest to finish the fish) and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat the grill over high flame. Place steaks onto grill, and turn heat down to medium flame and cook with lid off for about a minute. Cover the grill and cook for about 4 minutes. Time will vary depending on thickness of the steaks, so treat each steak individually.
  4. Turn steaks over and grill for another minute with lid off, and then close and continue to cook for about 3 more minutes. Check the temperature and if the steaks are between 120º-125º F, they are ready.
  5. Serve hot with more tarragon sprinkled over the top of each steak.
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8 Responses to Salmon Steaks with Tarragon

  1. MB says:

    yum, yum, YUM! So many favorites – salmon, tarragon, a fantastic glass of Rose (and only the best from Dave will do!) and the first warm days of summer – blue skies, smiles and laughter, good friends, family, and the warmth of the sun… We are on our way!!!!

  2. rita says:

    What a great way to welcome in the summer!

  3. tio says:

    Well if anything is going to make me jealous while I’m in Italy it is going to be your blog. That fish looks BEUTIFUL.

  4. tio says:

    BEUTIFUL- adj, (pronunciation; use french accent.) definition: describing something of aesthetic greatness and culinary quality. Especially when reffering to fish.

  5. JH says:

    This spells summer: easy, quick and rich in flavors. The chilled rosé provides the perfect blend where “Scandinavia meets Provence.”

  6. Sounds like just the job for the weather here too (although there is no way I’m doing the barbecuing!). Tarragon is such a lovely herb. The one I grew this year didn’t seem to have any flavour – must look for a variety that stands up to higher temperatures.

  7. Pingback: Roast Salmon with Tarragon | The Triangle Plate

  8. Beckie says:

    I followed this recipe for dinner last night. Prepared and grilled as instructed resulting in moist and flavorful salmon. Simply delicious!

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