One of the quickest and simplest ways to make a truly nice dinner, any night of the week.
This recipe was originally created for our Series of Unfortunate Recipes, based on the book and Netflix series by Lemony Snicket.
1 large salmon fillet, approximately 1.5-2 pounds (preferably wild caught)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
A few sprigs of dill
2 limes, cut into wedges
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment, then put paper towels on top. Rinse the fillet in cold water and lay it on the paper towel in the pan, skin side down. Pat the top of the fillet with another paper towel to dry, then REMOVE the paper towel under the fish so that the dry fillet is resting directly on the parchment or foil.
2. Brush the top of the fish with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. When the oven is ready, slide the pan into the oven and bake. The salmon is finished cooking when the flesh has just become opaque all the way to the skin. The best indication is that droplets of fat will form on the surface of the fillet. If you're unsure, you can use a knife to peek down into the thickest part of the fillet to confirm it's done. If your fillet has a thinner tail end, you can prevent it from drying out while the rest of the fish finishes cooking by loosely tenting the thin end with foil for the second half of cooking. Total cooking time will be about 4-6 minutes per half-inch thickness of salmon. (So 8-12 minutes for a fillet that is 1-inch thick at it's largest end).
3. When done, remove from the oven and slide the fillet onto a serving platter. Squeeze the juice from 1-2 wedges of lime over the fish, and sprinkle torn pieces of dill over the top of the fillet. Garnish with more sprigs of dill as desired. Serve with the remaining lime wedges.
If you run your fingers over the top of the fillet before cooking, you may notice pin bones emerging from the flesh. If your fillet has pin bones, you can simply pull them out with a pair of tweezers.
This recipe calls for dill and limes, but any combination of light fresh herbs and lemons or Meyer lemons would work beautifully here.