Salmon Roasted in Butter (try it with the kids!)

  • This is a recipe we have used for years but don’t talk about much. Why? Because it has always seemed a little sacrilegious to put so much butter on such beautiful salmon! We use this recipe after really cold Alaskan days when you need those extra calories and also to introduce non-fish eaters and picky kids to salmon. The fat in the butter “softens” the salmon flavor and you’re left with a rich (yet still flavorful) meal with all the amazing texture of wild Alaskan salmon. No one doesn’t like this recipe!

    Salmon Roasted in Butter

    By Mark Bittman (From The New York Times online)

    Download a pdf of this recipe

    Although farmed salmon is available all year, wild salmon does have a season, and that season is now. The wild fish from the Pacific has so much flavor that it needs little more than a sprinkling of salt. But the addition of oil or butter and a single herb, combined with a near-foolproof roasting technique, gives many more options.

    Be sure to preheat the butter or oil, along with a little bit of the herb, in a roasting pan in a hot oven. This preheating causes the fish to sizzle the instant it’s set into the pan, so that it browns before it overcooks. If you start the fillet in a cold pan, it will simply turn a dull pink and will not brown until it is as dry as chalk.

    Prep time:
    15 minutes.



    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
    • 4 tablespoons minced chervil, parsley or dill
    • 1 salmon fillet, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • Lemon wedges


    • 1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the butter
      and half the herb in a roasting pan just large enough
      to fit the salmon and place it in the oven. Heat about
      5 minutes, until the butter melts and the herb begins
      to sizzle.
    • 2. Add the salmon to the pan, skin side up. Roast
      4 minutes. Remove from the oven, then peel the skin
      off. (If the skin does not lift right off, cook 2 minutes
      longer.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn the
      fillet over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper again.
    • 3. Roast 3 to 5 minutes more, depending on the
      thickness of the fillet and the degree of doneness
      you prefer. Cut into serving portions, spoon a little
      of the butter over each and garnish with the
      remaining herb. Serve with lemon wedges.


    • The basic recipe can easily be varied. An equal
      quantity of extra virgin olive oil can be substituted
      for the butter, and 2 teaspoons basil or thyme leaves
      or 2 tablespoons marjoram leaves for the dill,
      chervil or parsley. Or peanut oil can be substituted
      for the butter (with a teaspoon of dark sesame oil
      for flavor if you like) and cilantro or mint for the
      dill, chervil or parsley; with this version, use lime
      instead of lemon.

    September 16th, 2011 | Traveler | No Comments |

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