Flavor-rich, healthy-galore, and ready to enjoy in 10 minutes.
Salmon is one of my go-to main entrées in my weekly menu, and when fresh herbs are available in my own garden, this is now my preferred way to enjoy it paired with a simple vegetable side dish, black rice and a crisp glass of wine.
Last week, I reached for a cookbook in my library and pulled out one of my most trusted resources for simple assemblage and guaranteed flavor – Nigel Slater’s Notes from the Larder: A Kitchen Diary with Recipes. Searching for different ideas to prepare salmon, I happened upon Slater’s herbed salmon, and knew it was exactly what I was looking for.
Having adapted the recipe to work with what I had in my garden and my kitchen at the time, I tweaked it slightly, and you can too for the same reasons.
Key Tips to Keep In Mind:
- Choose any Fine Herb from your garden or picked up at the local farmers’ market. watch episode #5 in Season 1 of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show to learn about what differentiates fine herbs from other herbs.
- Marinating for a length of time beyond the time it takes to prepare is unnecessary. Listen to this conversation on Splendid Table with America’s test Kitchen about marinating myths.
- Be sure to not overcook your salmon. Thickness will determine how long to cook on each side, but watch it closely, just before the entire salmon is pink (second side), is the best time to remove it from the skillet. Then let it rest. Likely, it will be succulent, cooked through just enough and delicious.
- I rarely tire of salmon, so trying different herbs is a great way to vary the simple, dependable choice.
- Choose a lime or a lemon. Both will add wonderful flavor to your salmon marinade. Don’t forget the zest!
- 1/2 lb sockeye salmon (or salmon of your choice
- 2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil the most flavorful you can find (to your taste preference)
- 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil options for other fresh fine herbs – chervil, tarragon, etc.
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper to season
- Chop the fresh herbs and place in a small mixing bowl. Add 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil. Add zest of lemon and the juice (lime is a great substitute if you don't have a lemon). Mix to combine.
- Prepare your salmon. Remove the small bones. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the herbed olive oil – either into the small mixing bowl or place the salmon on a plate with a slight edge to contain the oil. Pour over the fix and let rest for a couple of minutes or overnight (I have done both and both offer delicious flavor).
- Heat a skillet to low-medium heat. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp of olive oil into the pan. Place the salmon meat side down and cook for about 3-4 minutes (thickness of salmon will cause this time to vary). Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes. Don't cook until all the way cooked through. Remove from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes as fish will continue to cook.
- Serve with a favorite side of vegetables – roasted, blanched or steamed, or with a side salad dressed with the same herb and olive oil mixture. Add a bit of balsamic vinegar to make a vinaigrette if preferred to the oil mixture. Enjoy!
This recipe was the Petit Plaisir of episode #333 of The Simple Sophisticate podcast, 10 Things I Do to Lessen Jet Lag (flying from the west coast to Western Europe)