Sometimes good quality ingredients cooked in the easiest and simplest of ways can be the best food. This oven baked salmon is quick, easy and full of flavour. Delicious as is with some new potatoes and green vegetables or a fresh crisp salad or try adding some parsley and lemon butter or a herby yoghurt dressing. Either way, the key is good salmon. The salmon pictured here is from my fabulous mobile fishmonger, John, who brings fresh fish from Grimsby, Yorkshire, to London weekly. This dish will work really well with supermarket salmon, but if you have the option, fresh organic salmon will definitely be the best.
I like to brown the top the fillets in an ovenproof frying pan, I then garnish the fillets with lemon slices, fresh mint and dill, add some butter and finish cooking in the oven. You can skip this step if you prefer but I really like the added caramelisation of the salmon and the slight crust it creates. Cooking salmon in the oven (rather than cooking completely on the hob) has 2 main advantages:
your house will not smell of fish for 24 hours as it often does after frying fish – unless, of course, you have all the windows open or an amazing extractor fan, plus
you can prepare it up until it needs to go in the oven, in advance. You then just need to pop it in the oven when ready – a real bonus if cooking for guests or for a crowd and you want to get organised ahead of their arrival.
This salmon was cooked for 1 minute in the pan on the hob and 13 minutes in the oven. The large piece for my husband weighed 200g and the smaller pieces for the girls and me weighed 125g each. The girls and I like our salmon just cooked cooked through (see below) whereas my husband prefers it slightly pink – as it is supposed to be cooked. His piece is larger so it works perfectly for us but you need to decide how you like your fish and cook accordingly. Make a note of it when you get it right for your tastes and, providing you are using the same size fillets, this should work for you each time.
This oven baked salmon is quick, easy and full of flavour. Delicious as is with some new potatoes and green vegetables or a fresh crisp salad or try adding some parsley and lemon butter or a herby yoghurt dressing. Either way, the key is good salmon.
Dinner, Lunch, Supper
dill, lemon, Mint, oven baked, Salmon
4 x salmon fillets, skin on
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lemon, zested and then sliced
16 – 20 leaves of mint (you could also use parsley)
16 – 20 fronds of fresh dill (you could also use parsley)
20g unsalted butter
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to Fan Oven 180°C/200°C/400°F/Gas 6
Collect together your equipment (see Recipe Notes below) and ingredients.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan until very hot. Add the fillets to the pan, flesh side down and skin side up, and give a little shake to ensure the oil spreads out evenly over the pan. Cook on high for 1 minute unitl lighty browned.
Take off the heat and quickly turn the filets over to be skin side down
Season with the salt and pepper and grate over the lemon rind. Slice the lemon and lay over the filets.
Scatter over the mint leaves (rip in half if large) and then dot the butter over the top of each fillet.
Cook in the preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
oven-proof frying pan
chopping board and knife
crisp green salad
green vegetables – steamed, boiled or roast
mint and dill yoghurt with lemon
dill and lemon butter
No ovenproof frying pan:
brown the top of the fillets in a frying pan as described
transfer to a lightly greased baking dish to cook in the oven
Baking in the oven and not frying first:
lay the fillets in a lightly buttered oven-proof dish
add the salt and pepper, lemon rind, slices and herbs and then cook in a preheated oven