Monday, June 18, 2012

Roasted Salmon with Butter and Herbs


Roasting salmon in the summer seems like a cardinal sin. Grilling is usually the way to go. However, we eat a lot of salmon during the sumer months when you can get it wild and fresh, not previously frozen, and meatier. Roasting salmon is simple and frees your grill for other things, like vegetables or grilled potatoes with lemon and chives. Roasting salmon with butter and herbs is out of this world delicious. Your house will smell like a steakhouse, because they always smell like roasted butter more than steak, interestingly enough. The other thing is, you don't need much butter for this method and most of it melts off and crisps the bottom of the fish more than gets on your plate. Unless you decide to pour it on or something-which wouldn't be such a bad idea, actually. Mmmmm, browned butter. 


Try to get your fish as fresh as possible since the butter highlights the natural flavor instead of masking it. And, I hate to be a snob, but wild, fresh fish is always so much better than frozen. Always. Period. It's not available year round, especially here in Colorado, so take advantage while it's here. Fresh salmon cooks better, doesn't dry out as easily, never has a fishy flavor, and is silkier. It might come with a price tag to match, but you get what you pay for and it's frequently on sale. I always eat salmon the day I buy it and never keep it in the fridge. It's a great way to ensure you eat the freshest fish possible. This recipe would work well with halibut, too.

This is great with asparagus and potatoes as a side, with a glass of crisp white wine to go with. Fresh berries with chocolate whipped cream is a perfect, light dessert to finish it off if you happen to be entertaining.


Roasted Salmon with Butter and Herbs
adapted from Everyday Food, Martha Stewart
serves 6-8

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 salmon fillet (2 to 3 pounds), skin on (or you can cook individual fillets the same way)
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving 
Chopped fresh chives, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place 3 tablespoons of butter on a rimmed baking sheet and season  with salt and pepper. Place sheet in oven until butter melts, about 1 minute.

Carefully remove sheet from oven and place salmon on top of butter, skin side down; top with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter (just arrange in slices on top) and salt and pepper. Return sheet to oven.

Roast until salmon is just cooked through, 8 to 12, minutes, checking frequently. It will flake easily when done but still be juicy soft if the salmon has not been previously frozen. If it has, it will likely be firmer in texture. Sprinkle with parsley and chives and serve with lemon wedges if desired.

If you are only making this for a few people, cooking time is the same for smaller fillets of salmon so it adapts well.