I made this salmon early last week and have just been dying to share it with all of you because of how darn EASY it is. If I’m being honest, it’s not really my recipe but I don’t really think it’s a real “recipe” to begin with, as it is a method. A wonderful method, at that. Basically, all you do is slide a beautiful piece of salmon into an ultra-low oven for an hour and walk away. That’s pretty much it. The salmon cooks very, very slowly and thus, stays incredibly moist.
I got the idea for this because this is the way they prepare salmon at Chez Panisse. And if you know anything about me, you know my intense love affair with Chez Panisse. I have loved that restaurant from a far since I was a little girl and it had always been my big dream to eat dinner there. And when I say “little girl”, I mean I was maybe nine years old. Seriously. I dreamed that one day I would visit California and get to go there. I know that sounds cheesy but I am totally serious – you can ask my mom! Anyway, flash forward seventeen years and I finally got to eat at the cafe upstairs. It blew me away. And then just last week, we ate at the fancy restaurant downstairs for the very first time for our anniversary. This was a huge bucket list goal for me and I am happy to report that it did not disappoint. It was one of the best meals of my life. I feel so lucky to live in Berkeley and be right around the corner from it. It’s more than a restaurant to, really, it’s an institution and I sort of want to be as close to it as possible (in a non creepy way). I know that all sounds intense but Chez Panisse and Alice Waters have played a huge role in my entire life.
Okay. Sorry to digress there but I start talking about Chez Panisse and I literally can’t stop. Talk. Write. Same thing. Let’s switch gears about talk about this salmon because you guys are going to want to make it TONIGHT.
So yes. This is how Alice likes to prepare salmon and I think it’s just wonderful. My friend, Aubrey, slow roasts hers on top of fig leaves and I think that sounds incredible. Really, you can’t go wrong. I served this salmon with a little homemade aioli for dipping, a salad and some good bread with butter. It was the perfect light summer meal that I plan to make again often. It’s amazing just how moist the salmon stays because of the low oven temperature and the long cook time.
I feel like so often we do all these fancy things to salmon (which are delicious, of course!), but sometimes simple is best.
Usually, simple is best.
- 1.5 lbs wild king salmon pin bones removed with a tweezers
- handful of herbs, minced such as parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Place a rectangular pan filled with water on the bottom rack of the oven. This will help create a steamy environment for the fish to cook in.
Rub the salmon with the chopped herbs and sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and slow roast for for 60-75 minutes, or until just done. The fish will still be slightly wiggly in the center.
Serve immediately or at room temperature. This fish will keep for up to three hours at room temperature, making it ideal for crowds and picnics!