It is amazing how quick and easy it is to make delicious salmon. This recipe takes about 25 minutes to make and tastes amazing. If you’re going to save one salmon recipe for life, make it this one. Tender, flaky, soft salmon baked in butter with garlic and capers. This salmon recipe doesn’t get any easier – This recipe is simple enough for a busy week night, yet elegant enough to serve to company!
Salmon is a perfect fish to cook if you are stand-off-ish about cooking fish. It’s fatty, so it’s nice and forgiving if you overcook it by a minute or two, no papery, gritty-dry flakes of fish in sight. Then again, it’s firm and hearty—those who enjoy sushi will love a seared sashimi-grade salmon that’s still virtually raw and translucent in the center. Salmon is also well-suited for many cooking methods, from grilling to curing to poaching, broiling, pan-roasting, and even burger-fying. (is that a word?) Salmon likes rubs and marinades, but it also has a sweet, rich flavor that stands well on its own. Best of all, it’s predictable, not just to cook with, but to serve—since salmon isn’t a particularly fishy fish, it’s rare to find someone who really dislikes it.
- In reference to buying Salmon itself, I always use the recommendations from http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/groups/salmon/overview?q=salmon *Just copy and paste in your browser
- Look for the fresh salmon fillet that has vibrant orange or reddish flesh with excellent marbling.
- Avoid fillets that have discoloration around the edges or visible brownish patches on the belly.
- Choose those fillets that appear moist. A moist fish/fillet is a sure sign that the fish was handled well and is fresh. Do not pick any dried out salmon fish/fillets.
To make the salmon, I use one pan. (Hello easy cleanup!) A large, oven-safe skillet is best. I have been living in South Carolina for two years now so a cast iron skillet is my jam and perfect for this. If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, don’t worry. You can use a baking dish. A sheet pan works, too, but use a rimmed baking sheet. You don’t want to lose any of the butter sauce (Hell No!).
In my recipe, I prefer to use a 350ºF oven. That’s a little lower than a lot of salmon recipes, but I truly prefer the results when cooked at a lower temperature in my home kitchen. The salmon doesn’t dry out and stays soft in the middle.
A 1-inch thick, middle cut fillet of salmon takes about 20 minutes. For thinner or end pieces, check the salmon a bit earlier. For thicker fillets, you may need an additional 5 to 10 minutes of bake time.
- 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
- Kosher Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoons drained capers
- Fresh herbs like parsley, chives or dill, chopped
- Half of a lemon, quartered
Season both sides of the salmon with salt and freshly ground black pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt for 1 1/2 pounds of salmon).
Melt the butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. When the butter is bubbling, stir in the garlic and capers. Cook, stirring, until warm, about 1 minute. Take the skillet off of the heat. Add the salmon fillets, skin-side down, to the skillet. Tilt the pan so that butter pools on one side, and then spoon garlic caper butter over each fillet.
Cover the skillet with a sheet of aluminum foil or cover with parchment paper by loosely tucking it around the salmon. Bake the salmon, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover, and then spoon more of the butter over the salmon. Continue to roast, uncovered, until your desired doneness, 5 to 10 minutes more, depending on how thick the salmon is.
Your best bet for checking if salmon is cooked is a thermometer — I tend to cook salmon to 125 degrees F, which means it will be soft, tender, and slightly pink in the center. The texture at this temperature is much better than when cooked to a higher temperature.
For a visual cue, look for the flesh to be somewhat opaque. Also, when inserting a knife into the salmon, it should slide through easily. Alternatively, you can finish cooking the salmon under the broiler for some extra color on top. Watch closely so the fish does not overcook.
To finish squeeze fresh lemon juice over the baked salmon, sprinkle with lots of fresh herbs, and serve with another spoonful of the garlic caper butter on top.
Don’t forget to take a moment to revel in your delicious culinary triumph!
But, what you going to serve with Salmon?
Roasted Vegetables – Fresh and delicious roasted asparagus, broccoli would complement his dish nicely.
Rice – A bed of Basmati Rice will soak up all the yummy sauce from the pan.
Sautéed Vegetables – Simple vegetable sides like sautéed zucchini, yellow squash and shaved fennel would allow the salmon flavors to shine.