I stumbled on the inspiration for this dish a couple of weeks ago on the Eat Drink Garden blog by Valerie Rice. I was in search of a good salmon recipe for a buffet dinner that could be made ahead, served cold or at room temperature, and that didn’t require poaching. This recipe, originally credited to Suzanne Goin and published in Sunday Suppers at Lucques, was a winner on all counts.
I have slow-roasted individual portions of salmon before, but never with an entire side of salmon. The technique of keeping the salmon moist during cooking by including a pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven was also new to me. The resulting fish however was spectacular and I’m not sure I’ll ever make or even crave salmon prepared in another way again.
While I wouldn’t change a thing about the slow-roasting technique, I did omit, tweak, and add ingredients to the recipe per my own personal taste and based on what I had on hand. For the salmon, I used ample amounts of parsley instead of a variety of herbs. For the yogurt sauce, I added 1/4 cup minced dill, went heavy on the lemon juice, and smoothed everything out with a little olive oil. I was pleased, pleased, pleased with the result, but won’t pat myself on the back too much as I think you could pair anything with the silky smooth texture of the slow-roasted salmon and come away happy.
While a side of salmon yields plenty of food, finishing off our leftovers by adding them to a salad for lunch and simply nibbling bits and pieces straight from the fridge as a late night snack made me glad that I had gone big. With that being said, this is a dish best fixed for a crowd. The ease of preparation, its do-ahead nature, and the sublime final product will make you happy and impress and delight all those around your table. Happy cooking!
Slow-Roasted Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Sauce – Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 8 (more as part of a large buffet)
Discovered at the Eat Drink Garden by Valerie Rice blog where it is originally credited to Suzanne Goin from her cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques. I adapted the recipe to my own tastes and recommend you do the same although this particular combination of flavors seems well-suited to spring and early summer.
For the salmon:
1 side of salmon (about 2 lbs), skin-off and pin bones removed
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
Zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Cucumber-Dill Sauce:
1 cup 2% Greek Yogurt
2 small Persian cucumbers, peeled and finely diced
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice from about 2 lemons
Freshly ground black pepper
Remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the side of salmon on top, skin side down.
Generously season the salmon with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine the shallot, parsley, lemon zest, and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir to combine then spread the mixture evenly over the salmon.
Bake the salmon for 25 to 30 minutes until the center is slightly translucent and the flesh just flakes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 20 minutes before serving. I find that it easiest to move the salmon to a serving platter using the parchment paper. Once on the platter, gently slip the parchment paper out from underneath it.
To make the sauce, combine the yogurt, diced cucumbers, dill, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl. Add lemon juice to taste and then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.