Perfect Slow-Roasted Salmon
Total carbohydrates: less than 1 gram per serving
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20-30 minutes
This is my very favorite way to cook salmon (or cod or striped bass, for that matter): the fish ends up meltingly tender, with a velvety texture and a very fresh, mild flavor. Don’t expect it to brown (alas), and don’t expect it to look the way you might expect cooked fish to look, since it won’t turn pale pink and opaque. It’s perfect as a regular main course, or atop a salad for a leafier meal.
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
Grated zest of 1 lemon (quarter the lemon after zesting it)
1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or another herb of your choosing (optional)
4 pieces of thick salmon fillet (ask for center-cut), 1- 1 ½ pounds total
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Simple tartar sauce, below (optional)
Heat the oven to 275° F. Cover a baking sheet with foil, then brush or rub it with the half tablespoon of olive oil.
In a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest, garlic, and remaining tablespoon of oil.
Put the fish on the baking sheet, skin side-down. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper, then drizzle the lemon-garlic oil evenly over the fillets.
Roast for 15 to 25 minutes, until the flesh is just beginning to flake when you press a fork into it, and you can separate the fish from its skin. It might look different from the way you’re used to cooked fish looking – rosier and less opaque. That’s okay!
Serve with the lemon wedges, warm, at room temperature, or cold.
Simple Tartar Sauce
Whisk together ½ cup mayonnaise (use full-fat; look for Best Foods or Hellmann's; otherwise, check that there are 0 grams of sugar per serving), 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped capers, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon salt. Feel free to add finely chopped cornichons (mini sour pickles) or dill pickles, and/or chopped dill.