Here’s a recipe that pays well-deserved homage to fresh herbs. It’s my favorite way to eat salmon. The original recipe says to bake the salmon on a bed of rock salt to ensure even, slow cooking. I skip this step, not because it’s useless, but because I don’t always have heaps of coarse salt lying around. I bake the fish slowly in a gently heated oven and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. But if you have coarse salt, cover the sheet pan first with aluminum foil, then a layer of rock salt. Lay the fish on top of the salt, skin-side down.
I like the classic mixture of fines herbs: parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon. You could do any combination of fresh herbs you have on hand. A squeeze of lemon is all it needs. If you have crème fraiche or Greek yogurt on hand, a dollop of that on the side makes it.
- 2 pounds wild salmon, skin-on, pin bones removed
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and pepper
- ½ C parsley, minced
- ¼ C tarragon, minced
- ¼ C chives, minced
- ¼ C chervil, minced
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 t coriander seed, toasted and crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 2T shallots, minced
- 3T red wine vinegar
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 t sugar
- ½ t kosher salt
- 1 t Dijon mustard
- ½ C extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the salmon on a parchment-lined sheet tray, skin-side down. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and rub the oil into the skin. In a bowl, mix together the herbs and lemon zest and coriander. Pat this mixture onto the flesh of the fish. The oil should help the herbs adhere to the skin.
Once the salmon is in the oven, turn the temperature down to 275 degrees and roast it to your desired doneness. This will depend on your oven and the thickness of your filet, so use a thermometer if you’re not sure. I like mine medium-rare, which means I pull it from the oven at around 110 degrees. This generally takes around 20 minutes in my home oven with convection. When you take the temperature, be sure to probe in the thickest part of the filet. Pull it 5 degrees lower than your desired doneness to account for carry-over cooking.
As the salmon rests, mix the vinaigrette. Add the shallots to a small jar with a lid. Cover with red wine vinegar and lemon juice and let sit for 5 mins to soften slightly. Add the rest of the ingredients. Shake well. Drizzle vinaigrette over salmon to serve.