March 20, 2019
Fresh salmon or steelhead trout is real food, fast: in the oven or on the stovetop or grill, it cooks in about ten minutes (per inch of thickness at 425˚F), no matter the size of the filet you start with. The timing is similar in a hot skillet or on the grill; salmon and steelhead are sturdy fish, with filets that won’t fall apart on you. If you’re tossing it in the oven to roast, a little salt and pepper is all you need, but a few lemon slices and a scattering of fresh dill, a smear of jarred pesto, a quick blend of equal parts grainy mustard, honey and balsamic vinegar or quick teriyaki-like sauce of soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and ginger spread over the surface first will produce a tasty glaze.
As with other types of fish it also takes well to poaching and simmering in flavourful liquid, which produces a gentle, even heat; try tossing chunks of fresh salmon into soup at the very end of the cooking time, or into an almost-finished risotto. Poach it in the slow cooker, oven or stove top in a little wine, stock or coconut milk to serve warm or cold. No matter how you cook it, leftovers can be flaked into pasta, sandwiches and grain bowls, making meals easier throughout the week. If you plan ahead for lunches at work, a poached filet of salmon is a great thing to have stashed away in the fridge to add to salads and grain bowls. And if you’re a fan of salmon salad sandwiches, one made with your own roasted or poached salmon will beat one made from a can hands-down.
Roasted Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce
1 salmon or steelhead trout filet
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
salt, to taste
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
3 Tbsp. real mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, finely crushed
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Place the salmon filet on a parchment-lined baking sheet on top of a few lemon slices, or put the lemon slices on top of the salmon. Sprinkle with dill and salt and bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges flake with a fork, but the middle is still moist.
Meanwhile, whisk together the sauce ingredients (this part can be done up to 3 days ahead of time). Serve the salmon topped with the dill sauce, with rice or boiled new potatoes (the sauce is also delicious on these) and salad or steamed veggies.
- Julie Van Rosendaal
When firing up the grill, it's easy to default to the usual suspects: hamburgers, chicken, pork chops or steak.
Fresh salmon is real food fast—it cooks in about ten minutes in the oven, on the stovetop or grill, and simmers quickly in soup or curries.
Cod is a lean, mild-flavoured whitefish, with dense flesh and not-too-fragile fillets that are easier to handle in a skillet without falling apart.