This dish is perfect for entertaining—you can serve it hot or at room temperature.
TIME 20 minutes
MAKES 6 to 8 servings
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 salmon fillet (2 to 3 pounds), skin on if you like
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish
1. Heat the oven to 475°F. When the oven is hot, put the butter on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the pan in the oven for the butter to melt, about 1 minute. Watch it the whole time: As soon as the foaming stops, remove the pan.
2. Put the salmon in the seasoned butter, skin side down, and sprinkle the top with more salt and pepper. Return the pan to the oven.
3. Roast until the salmon is just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. To see whether the fish is done, stick a paring knife between the layers of flesh; the center should be bright pink and still a little translucent. Garnish with the parsley and serve.
Salmon is one of the most popular types of fish in the United States, and deservedly so. It’s got beautiful, tender flesh (as long as you don’t overcook it) and amazing flavor. Wild salmon, which at this point comes pretty much exclusively from the Pacific Northwest (mostly Alaska), is the best choice for the environment and is leaner, darker, and better tasting than farm-raised salmon.
Herb-Roasted Salmon: Skip the parsley for garnish. In Step 1, use 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. In Step 2, add 2 tablespoons minced shallot and ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, thyme, or dill leaves to the pan along with the salmon. Continue with the recipe.
Salmon Roasted with Olives and Thyme: Skip the parsley for garnish. Before Step 1, pit and chop 1 cup kalamata olives. In Step 1, sprinkle the salmon with pepper, but skip the salt (olives have plenty). In Step 2, add the olives and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves to the pan along with the salmon. Continue with the recipe.