Salmon Chaud-Froid

I made this the first time about 10 years ago, during a heat wave.

We don’t have air-conditioning… other than the floor model we bought to keep the dog cool.

For us humans living in the rest of the house we rely on opening and closing shutters according to the breeze and sunshine.

As the kitchen gets all the hot afternoon sun I try not to be doing a lot of any cooking on sweltering days.

With a little planning, I can make a cold dinner that just needs to be served at sunset, when our deck is cool enough to enjoy.

I also enjoy ‘fussing’ a bit more if there is no pressure to be done quickly.

When it’s time, pour a glass of rosado and relax.

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Salmon Chaud-Froid

This lovely poached salmon with pesto rosso mayonnaise needs to be made ahead and is served cold – perfect for hot weather.

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Chilling time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Fish


  • 2 salmon fillets, 12oz (360gr) total weight
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 sprig tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
  • Mayonnaise:
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs pesto rosso
  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin dissolved in 1 1/2 tbs cold water
  • purple basil leaves
  • green basil leaves, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced very thinly


  • The salmon:
  • Put chicken broth, tarragon, salmon, and peppercorns in a skillet.
  • Cover, heat to simmering and poach gently until salmon is done, 10 – 12 minutes.
  • Remove salmon, remove skin and chill thoroughly, at least an hour
  • When ready, remove salmon and place fillets on a wire rack.
  • When salmon is on the wire rack make the sauce:
  • Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, and pesto rosso.
  • Dissolve gelatin in water and stir into mayonnaise mixture.
  • Quickly spoon mixture over salmon, letting it run down the sides.
  • Arrange purple basil leaves on top
  • Chill until serving.
  • To serve:
  • Arrange tomato slices and shredded basil on 2 plates.
  • Place salmon on top and serve.


If the salmon has skin, remove it after poaching – just slide the salmon off the skin with a spatula.
Use any fresh herbs you like.
Substitute dried tarragon for fresh.
If made in the morning for an evening meal you can cover it loosely with foil or an inverted pan / dish.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 526
  • Sugar: 3.4 g
  • Sodium: 934.5 mg
  • Fat: 36.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.6 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.2 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 42 g
  • Cholesterol: 96.9 mg

Keywords: chilled salmon, poached salmon, salmon mayo

Cold, Poached Salmon

With the salmon I would have Tomato & Green Olive Pasta Salad, another favorite summer dish that is best made in the morning.

For a vegetable I’d like a salad of some sort, like this White Bean & Avocado – made a few hours ahead, of course.

To start? Spanish Ham & Melon…. Simple and no recipe required.

Also, mon mari is in charge of cleaning melons.

You could cook the salmon on the barbecue grill but this dinner is all about doing the work ahead of time.

Easy dinner – or a dinner party where you can be as relaxed and carefree as the guests.

2 thoughts on “Salmon Chaud-Froid”

  1. Interesting! You know how much I love salmon, I think this would be yummy. I’d have a hard time getting it past husband though. He wouldn’t care for the gelatin topping, I don’t think, though he’s surprised me in the past.

    • I only used enough gelatin to get it so set…. I wanted it to look pretty. You could just skip it and let the sauce drip a bit lol

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