In our neighbourhood, we’ve got a wonderful fish market that carries only sustainable, high quality fish. So when I had a recent hankering for salmon, I had the fish monger slice me up a couple fillets. On my walk home, I started playing over in my mind different ways that I could prepare the salmon. It’s kind of funny because a friend told me that for a while he’d spot me out in the neighbourhood and would say hi, but I’d never respond. He thought I was ignoring him. I wasn’t. I think he just didn’t try hard enough. Either that, or I was mulling over salmon recipes in my head.
It was one of those rare, gorgeous sunny winter days and I had a little skip to my step. It was beautiful outside and inside of my head, I was slowly putting together dinner. I was in my happy place. My first concern was to keep the recipe simple and let the flavours shine. This was a costly slab of fish, so there was no need to hide it under heavy sauces or flavours. My normal go-to salmon (or trout) recipe is this slightly asian one with soy, blood orange and ginger. It’s simple, no doubt, but I wanted something different. Instead, I started with salty, brined capers. Sharp red onion and local garlic that came wrapped in beautiful purple papery skin came next. And I discovered half a lemon and half an orange in the fridge. Yes! I was sure the flavour combination would be perfect. And it was. The salmon was served with my favorite arugula salad, mashed potatoes and some steamed brussels sprouts. We cracked open a nice bottle of chilled white wine and ate happily.
I cooked the salmon in a cast iron skillet which isn’t necessary for this dish to work. Use a baking sheet or your favorite oven dish. The parchment paper liner makes clean-up a snap.
roasted salmon with citrus & capers
3-4 salmon filets
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
half a red onion, thinly sliced
2 T capers
juice & zest from 1/2 lemon
juice from 1/2 orange
2 T olive oil
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 450F.
Line a cast iron skillet with parchment for easy clean up. Scatter half of the onion slices on the bottom of the pan and place the salmon fillets on top, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter remaining onions on top of the salmon, along with the garlic, capers and lemon zest. Pour lemon juice over top and drizzle with olive oil.
Place in oven and cook for about 8-12 minutes or until salmon has just cooked through. Salmon will flake easily when done.