We make this dish at home when salmon is in season and we want something easy, hearty, and delicious. It is also great for a large dinner party because it can be cooked at the last minute after everyone has arrived. This recipe is quite simple; it has only 6 ingredients, including olive oil and sea salt! There are many variations on this recipe, but one of our favorites is to add toasted pecans.
When selecting your salmon fillet, make sure it is wild caught, as the taste of wild caught salmon is unparalleled, and is higher in minerals, including potassium, zinc and iron than its farm-raised counterpart. Wild caught salmon contains about half the fat as farm-raised salmon, so it is important to cook it with some oil if baking or roasting in the oven.
Some ideas for completing your menu:
- Salmon with basmati, jasmine, or sushi rice and a green vegetable.
- Salmon on top of your favorite salad.
- Salmon with Niçoise Salad.
- Salmon with sushi hand roll fixings like cucumber, carrot, avocado, toasted nori, and a dipping sauce.
- 1¼ lb. wild caught salmon fillet (coho, sockeye, or king)
- sea salt
- about ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Lightly oil a 9" X 9" glass baking dish or roasting pan with a thin coating of olive oil.
- Cut salmon into 4 equal pieces. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. Place salmon pieces in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle evenly with sea salt (a few large pinches). Alternatively, leave the salmon fillet whole to have a nice presentation the table.
- Roast salmon in the oven for 8 minutes.
- In the meantime, sauté garlic in olive oil until garlic is soft but not browned. Remove from heat and stir in rosemary, maple syrup, and a large pinch of salt.
- After salmon has roasted for 8 minutes, remove from oven and spoon garlic-rosemary oil over each fillet. Return salmon to the oven and roast for another 3 minutes, and then check for doneness.
- Serve with a fresh salad, sauteed greens or broccolini, or other vegetable side dish.
- Maple-pecan version: Toast up to 1 cup pecan pieces with the garlic until fragrant, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Keep the rest of the recipe the same, or omit the rosemary for a pure maple-pecan flavor. This variation is especially good in the fall and early winter when pecans are fresh.
- Maple-balsamic version: Add 2 teaspoons good quality balsamic vinegar (or balsamic reduction) to the garlic-olive oil mixture. Omit rosemary.
- To check for doneness, plunge a small sharp knife all the way through the thickest part of one of the fillets and hold it there for 5 seconds. Pull it out and carefully touch the flat side of the knife to your lower lip, which is very sensitive to temperature. If it feels warm, the fish is just cooked through and ready to serve. If the knife is still cold or cool, the fish needs more time.
- Another way to gauge doneness is to watch for the appearance of a white substance that starts forming on the outside of the salmon. Usually this indicates the salmon is close to being done.
Salmon with sushi rice, toasted nori, and steamed green beans.