Wild Thistle Kitchen: Dad’s Slow-Roasted Salmon


This is my dad’s recipe for slow-roasted salmon. It is the softest, most buttery salmon you will ever eat — so packed with flavor, so elegant, but so simple to prepare. It really is a foolproof method for cooking salmon, which can sometimes be intimidating for home cooks. Follow my easy steps and make this slow-roasted salmon a part of your weeknight meal rotation!

My dad started making this dish at Thanksgiving years ago and it became one of our favorite untraditional traditions. It’s perfect any time of year, though, and is such a simple weeknight meal. I love serving it with some fragrant jasmine rice for soaking up all those delicious buttery juices.

I prefer farm-raised salmon for this recipe, which is what my dad used. I have made it with both wild and farm-raised. The farm-raised just has a more buttery texture and is my choice for this dish. But you do what you love, it will be delicious either way.

My top choice for salmon is Kvarøy Arctic, which you can find at some Whole Foods Markets. You can also order directly from Fulton Fish Market. Grab some of their smoked salmon while you’re at it; it is THE BEST smoked salmon I’ve ever tasted (no, this is not an ad).

How do you keep salmon from drying out in the oven?

  • First, you’ll make the most delicious compound butter. In a bowl, mix together the soft butter, garlic, dill, salt and pepper.
  • Next, lay your salmon on a bed of lemons, wine and dill, then slather that butter on top.
  • Finally, cover the baking dish tightly with parchment and foil. The parchment layer really keeps the moisture in and prevents the salmon from drying out.

What temperature should salmon be cooked at?

This salmon will roast in a low oven — 275 degrees — for 20 to 30 minutes. I like to go on the lower end because I prefer my salmon a little medium/medium rare in the center. Just check it with a fork and give it a few more minutes if you like it well done. Also, just as with any protein, it will continue cooking after it comes out of the oven and as it rests.

I hope you’ll give this beloved family recipe a try. It’s funny how this slow-roasted salmon became such a part of our holiday meals, right next to the turkey and ham. Now my kids ask if I’m making “Bobo’s salmon” and I’m always happy to oblige. These special recipes and traditions keep my father’s memory alive. I hope you’ll love this one as much as we do.

xo — Anita

Dad’s Slow-Roasted Salmon

Ingredients

1 side of salmon, about 2 pounds (a center-cut, skin-on filet if you can find it)

1 cup white wine

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

Instructions

Preheat oven to 275. Slice lemon and lay slices in bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold salmon. Lay 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. Lay a few dill sprigs around salmon and pour wine into the baking dish. Sprinkle over 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 Wild Thistle Kitchen.

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