Cook on a Whim: Slow-Roasted Salmon

Slow-roasted salmon. Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.

What are your New Year’s Eve plans? Mine are to stay in with my hubby, have some bubbly — probably prosecco, because we love it — and make some really easy, yet elegant and delicious dishes to nibble on as we ring in 2020 (something a little lighter after the cookies-all-day-every-day diet we’ve been on).

This slow-roasted salmon checks all of those boxes: easy, elegant, light and so delicious.

January is a time most people start eating a bit lighter. I’m not talking about New Year’s resolutions, just a necessary and welcome change after the holiday indulging. Salmon is such an excellent choice: packed with healthy fats, full of protein and at once both rich and light somehow. And you can’t beat that color, especially when you find wild-caught, Alaskan salmon.

I’m sharing my dad’s recipe today because it is my favorite way to prepare salmon. Slow-roasting might sound strange when it comes to fish, but, I promise you, this is the softest, most buttery salmon — so packed with flavor, so elegant and so easy to prepare. It’s such a nice change after all the holiday indulging. Of course, it’s good anytime of year as a main course.

This is also a great option if you have any pescatarians in the family. Also, if anyone has dairy allergies, use ghee if they can tolerate it. Or (and it pains me to write this) just leave the butter out. Use the wine, herbs, garlic, lemon and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. It will still be just as moist and delicious.

Yes, this dish has a whole stick of butter, but it serves several and I’m not a member of the fat-is-bad club. I’m also not a doctor. You do what makes you happy. If you feel uncomfortable with a whole stick of butter, use half, a quarter or none at all. Just promise me you’ll make it, because I know you’ll love it and it will become your new favorite way to prepare salmon.

Oh, and feel free to just use whatever champagne or sparkling wine you’re drinking on New Year’s Eve in place of the wine in the recipe.

Cheers! I wish you all a very happy new year.

Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.

Slow-Roasted Salmon


1 side of salmon (about 2 pounds), a center cut, skin-on filet if you can find it
1 cup white wine (sparkling is fine here too)
1 stick soft butter
1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus a few sprigs fresh dill
1 fresh lemon, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Slice lemon and place slices in the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold salmon. Place salmon skin-side down on top of lemon slices. In a small bowl, mix together butter, chopped dill and garlic. Evenly distribute butter on top of salmon (see photo for reference). Lay a few dill sprigs around salmon and pour wine into baking dish. Sprinkle over it a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover dish tightly with a layer of parchment and then foil. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit unopened for 10 minutes. Serve straight from the baking dish with a spoon.

Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.
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