Chef’s Summer Recipes: Alex Tishman’s Klamath River Wild Salmon with Summer Vegetable Ratatouille

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What's This?

Alex Tishman strives to bring healthy, delicious dishes into people’s homes. Chef Tishman graduated from the California Culinary Academy and did his time in some very prestigious restaurants including: One Market, Zuppa, Acquerello, and Yoshi’s. In 2011, he decided to become a personal chef. Chef Tishman is a member of Big City Chefs, which matches clients with Chefs to fit their individual needs.

I asked Chef Tishman about his philosophy on summer cooking, he said: “Summer cooking is all about simplicity for me.  It’s the time of year when plants are just going crazy; you can almost hear the tomato plants groaning under the weight of their ripe fruits, just begging to be picked.  It seems to me that you should just take the best produce around, put it together, and try not to mess up the perfection that’s already there.”

Chef Alex Tishman’s Klamath River Wild Salmon with Summer Vegetable Ratatouille, Pine Nuts, and Taggiasca Olives (Serves 4)


For the Salmon

4 filets wild salmon, skin on, from the center, scaled, and pin bones removed
Sea salt
Grapeseed oil
1 sprig each fresh thyme, summer savory, and oregano

For the Roasted Tomato Purée

1 pound roma tomatoes
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced very finely
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

For the Ratatouille

2 ears corn, shucked, kernels removed and reserved
1 Rosa Bianca eggplant, cut into medium dice
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced very finely
2 gypsy peppers, cut into medium dice
2 red bell peppers, cut into medium dice
2 medium zucchini or summer squash, cut into medium dice
1 sprig each fresh thyme, summer savory, and oregano
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

For the Pine Nut and Olive Tapenade

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup taggiasca olives, pitted and chopped very finely
1/2 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped finely
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Basil oil

1 bunch basil leaves, picked
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Basil oil

Blanch the basil leaves in a pot of well salted, rapidly boiling water for 15 seconds. Drain the basil and plunge it into a bath of ice water until chilled. Drain again and squeeze out all the water. Chop the basil roughly and place it in a blender along with the grapeseed and olive oils. Blend until very smooth and bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove from blender and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, up to 24 hours. To strain, place a double layer of cheese cloth or paper towel in a strainer set over a bowl. Pour unstrained oil through filter and allow the oil to drip through without disturbing until completely strained. Discard solids and refrigerate finished oil until ready to use.

Pine Nut and Olive Tapenade

Combine all ingredients and reserve at room temperature until ready to use.

Roasted Tomato Purée

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and reserve.

Halve the roma tomatoes lengthwise and place in a large bowl. Add the dried herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss very well to combine. Add the olive oil and toss once more to combine, ensuring that all the tomatoes are completely oiled. Empty the bowl onto the prepared sheet pan and arrange the tomatoes in a single layer, cut side up. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the tomatoes are shriveled and beginning to caramelize. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled, place the tomatoes and all the liquid from the pan into a food processor or blender and blend until very smooth. Check for seasoning and pass through a fine mesh sieve. Discard any remaining solids and reserve.


Heat a large skillet over medium low heat with the olive oil, garlic, onion, and fresh herb sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until very aromatic and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to medium and add the peppers, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook until peppers are translucent, about 5 minutes. Repeat this process with the eggplant and squash, seasoning each time the next vegetable is added.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the butter over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add the corn kernels and cook over medium heat, seasoning with salt and pepper, and tossing occasionally to prevent burning. Once the kernels are cooked, add them to the pan of other vegetables.

Once all the vegetables have been cooked in the pan, add the reserved tomato purée and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Check for seasoning and keep warm while cooking the salmon.


To cook the salmon, place a large stainless steel or cast iron pan over high heat for several minutes until very hot. Meanwhile, season the salmon with salt and liberally brush it with grapeseed oil. Place a small amount of grapeseed oil in the hot pan and then add the salmon filets, skin side down, not touching each other. Press gently with the back of a spatula on the salmon filets to ensure even contact with the pan. Cook over high heat until the sides of the salmon begin to turn opaque. Carefully flip the salmon filets over and then add a few tablespoons of butter, as well as the herb sprigs. Allow the butter to brown, and then begin to gently baste each filet with the butter to finish the cooking. Baste for 2 minutes and then remove the pan from the heat.

To Finish

Place a small mount of the finished ratatouille in the center of each warmed plate. Place a salmon filet, crispy skin side up, on top of each pile of ratatouille. Place a small mound of the pine nut and olive tapenade on the edge of the salmon skin. Drizzle a little basil oil beside the ratatouille. Serve immediately.

Big City Chefs serves Arizona, California, Colorado, DC, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,  Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

To book Chef Tishman, click here.

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Blanca Valbuena
I am one of the co-founders of FriendsEAT. Obviously, I love to eat. Other passions include A Song of Ice and Fire, Shakespeare, Dostoyevski, and Aldous Huxley.
Blanca Valbuena
Blanca Valbuena

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