January 12, 2010

Poached Salmon with Leeks {Webisode #8}

This post has been updated October 3, 2016 as part of the 5 Affordable Weeknight Dinners from Whole Foods Market. We were able to enjoy this recipe again in a whole new way with ingredients from my recent Whole Foods Market trip.

This one-pot meal is still a favorite of ours. This week it is part of our project with Whole Foods Market. For this project I am sharing how I make five delicious, easy dinners for my family using one bag of Whole Foods Market groceries.

I love shopping at Whole Foods Market because of their extra fresh ingredients and high commitment to quality. I’ve shopped many places for fish, and my favorite place to buy salmon is Whole Foods Market. Their seafood sustainability rating system takes the guesswork out of what to purchase. They have very high standards for what they sell and I know it is sustainably sourced or responsibly farmed. I also always looks fresh because it is, no tricks there! I also always check my Whole Foods app and sales flyer for coupons. They are so easy to use and offer terrific discounts for so many of my favorite everyday staples, and the specialty items I love to try.

Sometimes people ask me if I spend 2 hours cooking every single day. No! Of course not! Sure, my daughter typically naps for that amount of time, but, as I’ve said before, naptime is my free time when I strive to get a lot of stuff done, including enjoying some time in the kitchen. Most of the time it works out that I can make a great casserole that will last for a couple of nights, or a large amount of sauce for pasta, with leftovers to freeze for later. But other times I don’t have time to cook at all during naptime. Instead, I have to make dinner a few minutes before it needs to be served, which is when I turn to very specific arsenal of recipes at my disposal.

This recipe for Poached Salmon with Leeks was given to me by my mother-in-law when my husband and I first started dating. She served it one evening during a visit and I was instantly smitten. I love the mildly sweet taste of the tender leeks and how they mix with the chicken broth to soften the flavor of the salmon. Best of all, this is a light, healthy dinner that can be pulled together in a matter of minutes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not one of these formulaic solution dinners I hate, there is plenty of inspiration and thought here. This is just simply an wonderful meal made with quality ingredients. I promise, I will never preach to you any time frame in which you pull it together.

Just yesterday I made this in the early evening while my daughter was playing in the other room with our neighbor. As the ear-grating songs of mechanical singing bears screeched away on repeat, I dedicated a few minutes to the kitchen. I had just enough time to let the leeks soften and salmon poach, with a few moments between to check on the kid’s handiwork in the other room. (On a side note, can anyone explain the appeal to me of annoying singing animals and why children love them so much?) Dinner was prepared in a short amount of time and everyone adored it. And, believe it or not, my husband managed to capture it all on video, so here you go! Enjoy!

Poached Salmon with Leeks: Webisode #8 from Kelsey Banfield on Vimeo.


Poached Salmon with Leeks


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 cups chopped leeks, well rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 24 ounces salmon, cut into four strips
  • Serves 4 (recipe doubles or triples easily)


    1. Trim the roots and leaves from the leeks, leaving the soft white stem. Chop the stem into sections and place in a colander over the sink, or in a bowl of water. Rinse the leeks very thoroughly, these are notoriously grainy vegetables and you don’t want the dirt to end up in your food, and pat dry.

    2. In a straight edge saute pan with a lid over medium heat add the butter and allow to melt. Then add the leeks and saute until tender. About 8 minutes.

    3. Once the leeks are tender pour in the chicken broth until it just covers the leeks. If you need a little more broth then the 1 cup called for, add a little more bit by bit. Then, add the salmon steaks on top, making sure they are separated a little. If there is skin on the salmon, place the skin side up so that the fish is resting directly on the leeks.

    4. Turn up the heat so that the broth is simmering. Place the lid on the pan and cook the salmon for 8 minutes. After that, check to make sure the steaks are cooked through. If not, continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes.

    5. Divide the leeks between two plates. Serve one salmon steak on top of each bed of leeks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

    Naptime Notes

    Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

    This definitely goes in the category of meals that can be made in a short amount of time and taste delicious. I’ve never tried it, but I bet this would work with other kinds of fish as well, if you don’t like salmon.

    Naptime Stopwatch

    I made this in 20 minutes from start to finish.

    Naptime Reviews

    My husband grew up eating this and claims my version was better than he ever tasted at home. I hardly believe it since his mother is such a good cook – but I’ll take the credit anyway! My daughter? This was not such a hit, we haven’t had much luck with salmon yet.

    More Naptime Recipes

    (Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Whole Foods. The ideas and photographs are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support The Naptime Chef.)