crispy skin salmon with honey brown butter, roast fennel & lemon couscous recipe

Crispy Skin Salmon with Honey Brown Butter, Roast Fennel & Lemon Couscous


Serving: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes


4 (6-ounce) pieces center-cut salmon fillet with skin, about 1-inch thick

2 fennel bulbs (Save the fronds to use as garnish)

1 cup couscous

1 stick butter, unsalted

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use grape seed oil but vegetable or olive oil will work just fine)

2 tablespoons olive oil for fennel

¼ cup parsley, chopped

¼ cup dried cherries chopped or any other dried fruit.( Apricots or golden raisins would be delicious!)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Salt & pepper to taste



Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes  Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.

Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel

Season both sides of the fish generously with salt pepper and ground cumin.

Once the pan is hot lay the fish down in the pan skin side down, always away from you, so the oil doesn't splash. Press the fish down for 10 seconds with a spatula.

Let the salmon cook for 90% of the time on the skin side. The salmon I buy is usually about an inch thick, so cook it for 5 to 7 minutes depending on how well-done you like it then flip the salmon over to cook for 2 minutes on the other side


Cook couscous to package directions. Once it’s done add the parsley, lemon, lemon zest and chopped dry cherries.


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Cut the bottom and tops off each fennel bulb. Save the rings for garnish.

Prop the fennel up on its flat bottom side, then cut straight down in 1/4" thick slices.

Place the fennel in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Lay the fennel out onto a sheet pan, including any left over oil in the bowl, and spread in a single layer.

Roast for 30 minutes until tender and slightly golden on the edges.

Flip all the fennel over, and roast for another 10 minutes, to caramelize further.

Brown butter

Melt the butter in saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly.

As the butter melts, it will begin to foam. The color will progress from lemony-yellow to golden-tan to, finally, a toasty-brown. It will start to smell nutty.

Once you smell that nutty aroma, and the butter is the color of graham cracker crumbs, take the pan off the heat and transfer the browned butter into a heatproof bowl. With a spoon, skim as much of the butter solids that form a white film on top of the brown butter. Mix in the honey and season with salt and pepper


To serve put the brown butter on the plate. Place salmon on top, add couscous and fennel to plate, and garnish with fennel fronds. Enjoy!


Recipe & Image by Chef Jill, Jillicious Foods & Events 

Crispy Skin Salmon with Honey Brown Butter, Roast Fennel & Lemon Couscous Recipe
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