Sometimes a dish comes out so good that I regret not taking pictures for the blog of my preparing it. Then, all too often, dishes like these get lost in my files and are never written up here. Well, last night, I prepared such a dish and decided to blog about it even though the only photos I have were taken after it was cooked.
The recipe for the dish, “Slow-Roasted Citrus Salmon with Herb Salad,” comes from The New York Times “Cooking” website and was written for them by Alison Roman before she left The Times over some questions of the political correctness of a comment she made in an interview.
I was first attracted to the dish by its utter simplicity: slice some citrus, season the fish, place it and the sliced fruit into a roasting pan, drizzle with olive, and bake for around 25 minutes. Meanwhile, snip a few herbs from their stems, drizzle them with lemon juice, and season with flaked salt before serving alongside the baked salmon.
Since I was cooking for two I used only two salmon fillets, one lemon as opposed to two, and 1 cup of herb leaves. I should also note that the original recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of olive oil to cook a 1 ½-pound salmon fillet. I thought that was a lot of oil even for the larger sized fish, so when adjusting my measurements, I opted for a mere ½ cup.
Roman’s low (300°F) and slow (25 to 30 minutes) method was a revelation. It yielded flawlessly cooked, buttery salmon that was lightly flaky and, owing to the olive oil, perfectly moist. Moreover, the fillets were lightly infused with flavors from the orange and lemon slices and the fresh thyme that never dominated the salmon’s natural flavor. The salad of roughly picked herb leaves (I used parsley and cilantro) drizzled with lemon juice and sprinkled with flaky seas salt provided the perfect accompaniment.
I served the dish with a gratin of mushrooms.
If you’re looking for a perfect weeknight dinner, this is a great choice.
Slow-Roasted Citrus Salmon with Herb Salad
2 (6 ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 orange, thinly sliced
6 sprigs thyme
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup parsley and cilantro, roughly picked from the stem
Flaky sea salt, for serving
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides.
3. Place in a small roasting with sliced lemon, orange and thyme.
4. Drizzle with olive oil
5. Bake until salmon is just turning opaque at the edges and is nearly cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Toss fresh herbs with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and flaky salt. Serve alongside salmon on heated plates.
Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc