Lemon-tarragon salmon and white bean skillet is a one-pan dish that is nearly effortless to prepare, made with everyday ingredients that come together in just minutes. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Lemon-tarragon salmon and white bean skillet is a one-pan dish that is nearly effortless to prepare, made with everyday ingredients that come together in just minutes. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Simple cooking: A feel-good skillet dinner starring salmon

By Ellie Krieger / The Washington Post

This skillet dinner is the kind of recipe everyone should have tucked in their back pocket.

It is simple cooking at its best — a one-pan meal that is nearly effortless to prepare, made with everyday ingredients that come together quickly. You can summon the energy to make it even when you come home feeling too tired to cook. The payoff in flavor, beauty and satisfaction is a windfall.

To make it, saute chopped shallot (or onion, if you prefer) and zucchini in a large skillet; add a can of white beans, water and then big chunks of fresh salmon, grape tomatoes, tarragon and lemon zest. In about five minutes the fish is cooked, the vegetables and beans are tender, and, with a final squeeze of lemon juice, the whole dish is infused with the flavor and fragrance of the citrus and herb seasonings.

The meal has a summery feel, with zucchini, tomatoes and herbs at their peak this time of year, but the ingredients are available year-round, making it an anytime pleasure.

Lemon-tarragon salmon and white bean skillet

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup chopped shallot

1 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice

1 15-ounce can no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup water

1¼ pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup grape tomatoes, each cut in half

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from ½ lemon)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the shallot; cook for about 1 minute, until softened.

Add the zucchini and cook for 1 minute, then add the beans and water. Once the mixture is bubbling at the edges, add the salmon, tomatoes, tarragon, lemon zest, salt and pepper, stirring gently to incorporate. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring gently once or twice, until the salmon is just opaque and the vegetables are tender.

Drizzle with the lemon juice and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 370 calories, 34 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 400 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugar.

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