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Carlos Fresh Salmon

Carlos Fresh Salmon

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This week I am sharing a recipe from a restaurant that I use to go to often, Carlo’s.  Carlo’s was an intimate Italian bistro in San Rafael.  It was owned by a quirky Italian couple, Carlo and Marie Avola.  Their witty personalities filled the small dining room nightly, and their home-cooked Italian food kept me coming back for more.  Especially this gem of a recipe Carlos Fresh Salmon.  It is flavorful, bright and fresh.

A highlight of mine was the gently poached salmon.  Carlo poached it in sparkling wine, that was lightly seasoned with garlic, rosemary, and fresh vegetables.  It was like butter, melting on your tongue with each bite.  

This recipe is perfect for a romantic evening at home or even as a bridal luncheon.


Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Carlos Fresh Salmon

Carlo's Fresh Salmon

This recipe was inspired by one of Denise's fondest food memories at an amazing spot in San Rafael California, called Carlos which was owned by Carlo and Marie Avola. They had the best salmon - ever.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds fresh salmon filets, skinned
  • 2 whole lemons
  • 1 bottle (750 milliliters) sparkling wine or champagne, I used Prosecco 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced very thin
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced very thin


    Clean the salmon, remove any bones.

    Grate the outside of the lemons, and set the zest aside.

    Put the olive oil into a large frying pan, and place the salmon filets on top of the oil. Sprinkle the peppers over the top of the salmon. Place the celery, carrots, garlic, and rosemary around the salmon. Pour enough of the sparkling wine to cover the top of the salmon and vegetables. Place a lid on the pan. Turn the heat up to high and cook for 5 minutes.

    After 5 minutes, remove the cover and stir the vegetables around the pan. Pour more of the sparkling wine into the pan, just enough to cover the salmon. Cover. Keep the pan over the heat and when the sauce is greatly reduced, the salmon is ready; about 10 minutes.

    Serve the salmon with the vegetables and sauce on the side of the salmon.

    Cover the salmon fillets with the freshly grated lemon rind just before serving.




Fresh salmon is fine to use but this recipe really shines when using fresh.

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v avola

Sunday 29th of August 2021

this is my grandfather's recipe

Denise Woodward

Thursday 16th of September 2021

Such a special spot. I definitely miss eating there. I remember a creamy tomato pasta that was out of this world. I have never been able to reproduce, and I remember the Marin IJ publishing it once but I lost the cut out from the newspaper.

V Avola

Friday 16th of March 2018

This is my grandfathers recipe!

Denise Woodward

Sunday 25th of March 2018

Really? That is amazing. I loved that place so much, and he was a gem!


Monday 7th of May 2012

I absolutely love, love, love, looooove salmon! Thanks for this recipe!

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