Despite my best attempts, my girls aren’t big seafood eaters. With the exception of shrimp and salmon, they prefer to steer clear of the swimmy stuff. Their excuse is always that “it smells fishy”, which I find kind of funny because they like salmon and it always smells the fishiest to me. Oh well. Kids, right? Since they do like salmon, and it’s good for all of us, I try to include it in our dinner routine as often as I can.
I ran across this recipe while I was browsing through the Epicurious app on my phone. If you would have told me, just a few years ago, that I’d enjoy looking up recipes on my cell phone, I would have said you were crazy. They even have an app for a Jetson-style refrigerator. I’m pretty sure that, at this rate, my flying car and Marty McFly hoverboard are right around the corner. The app is free and is a terrific resource for everything from weeknight meals to heavy-duty entertaining ideas. If you are able to, check it out when you get a chance.
This recipe caught my eye because it was simple, quick and healthy. There isn’t a whole lot to it, but it was surprisingly delicious and an almost elegant addition to our crazy week. Plus, the kids liked it, which, as you might assume, is HUGE.
Don’t let the name fool you. Slow-Baked doesn’t mean that it’s going to take all night. Salmon cooks quickly, usually just a few minutes per side and it’s done. This salmon bakes in the oven at a pretty low temperature, 275*, but will still go from oven to plate in less than twenty minutes.
I started by mixing together a dab of olive oil, the zest of one lemon and a bit of freshly chopped thyme.
Next, I covered a cookie sheet with foil and brushed it with just a bit of olive oil before laying the salmon fillets on the sheet. For the four of us, I made three salmon fillets. This recipe is easily adapted for more, or less, than four people.
I spread a bit of the lemon mixture over each piece of salmon, sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and let it sit for about ten minutes. This resting time before heading into the oven helps the flavors come together.
Then, into the oven it went! After about 18 minutes, I took it out of the oven to find that it was cooked through and perfectly moist and delicious. I was honestly surprised at how delicately the salmon cooked up on the lower heat. The lemon and thyme paired nicely together and really flavored the salmon quite well. The kids were initially turned off by the “green” (one child in particular, if you know my girls) on the salmon, but once they tried it, they quickly moved past that and we all enjoyed a wonderful, healthy weeknight dinner together. It’s so nice when good, healthy things can come from just a few minutes in the kitchen and even fewer ingredients.
SLOW-BAKED SALMON WITH LEMON AND THYME
Adapted from Bon Appetit/Epicurious
- 1½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 (6-8 oz.) boneless salmon fillets, skin on
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- the zest of one lemon
- kosher salt and ground pepper
- lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat your oven to 275*.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with ½ tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on the greased cookie sheet.
- Mix together the thyme, lemon zest and remaining olive oil. Spread the mixture over the tops of each salmon fillet. Season with salt and pepper. Let the salmon rest at room temperature for 10 minutes, to let the flavors meld.
- Bake the salmon for 15-18 minutes, just until cooked and opaque in the center. Serve with lemon wedges.