Cold Poached Salmon with Tarragon-Mint Aioli

2-3 lb. side of salmon, skin removed
2 –3 cups water, enough to cover salmon
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
1 T. kosher salt
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Garnish: fresh tarragon and mint sprigs, lemon slices

Place salmon in 3” deep baking pan, large enough to hold entire salmon side. Add water, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, and lemon slices. Cover with foil; bake in 350o oven for 25-30 minutes until salmon is cooked about 90% of the way. Remove from oven; allow the salmon to cool in liquid. Carefully remove salmon to platter, using 2 spatulas to lift the salmon. Drizzle with aioli just before ready to serve. Garnish with fresh tarragon and mint sprigs and lemon slices. Serves 8-10.

NOTE: To cook individual salmon servings, cut side of salmon into 6-8 oz. fillets, and follow same procedure for baking, only reduce cooking time to 10 minutes total.


  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of white pepper

    Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor; puree until smooth. Remove from work bowl; transfer to serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made 1-2 days ahead. Makes 2 cups.

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