I'm drawing the proverbial line in the sand today.
Do you love salmon or hate it?
About 75% of the friends I have asked HATE fish with a scaly passion. And poor ole' salmon is schlepping around with a bad rap from wretch-worthy Salmon Croquettes during the 80s.
I went to a Catholic school in junior high. And I brought my lunch every Friday during Lent because we always, ALWAYS had some nasty fish from the cafeteria. The scent began to waft up the stairs to Mr. Pahl's math class about 10 AM. It's why I am bad at math.
But, about 10 years ago, a friend invited us to dinner and grilled wild Alaskan salmon with just a touch of butter, salt, and lemon juice. Everything changed for me that day. (Thank you, Montgomerys!)
I'm very picky about the fish I eat now...go ahead and call me Fish Snob. The fact is, good fish is wild-caught, not farm-raised. And, unfortunately, it's also really expensive*. So we don't eat it as often as I would like.
'Cause this makes me nervous.
It just taunts me with "Don't you over cook me! Don't mess up here! I'm expensive."
I hate it when food mocks me.
So I showed it who's boss in my kitchen.
I squeezed it with lemon juice and drizzled with olive oil.
Then I sprinkled about two teaspoons of this loveliness all over it.
You can make your own by mixing culinary lavender with sea salt,
dried savory, marjoram, sage, thyme, basil, and rosemary.
I cut the steak into thirds so I could remove the thinner piece from the oven first,
as it cooked more quickly.
FULLY preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Bake fish on a parchment-lined sheet for about 6-8 minutes per inch of thickness.
And please don't over cook it.
I have an theory that 50% of the people that hate fish have only ever had it gummy, overcooked, and tasteless.
My first bite was Herbs de Provence igniting my senses as the velvety, tender meat melted away into a dream.
I think I even cried a little.
* I bought this fish at my local health food store. They have it flown in from Alaska. Hence the hefty price tag.
Lavender-Lemon Roasted Salmon
1 pound fresh salmon
Juice from half a lemon (about 2-3 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried herbs (I used a product that included a mixture of culinary lavender, sea salt, dried savory, marjoram, sage, thyme, basil, and rosemary.)
(If you are not using an herb mix that contains salt, add about 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt or sea salt.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set the salmon on the paper, and drizzle it with the lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle over the herbs and salt.
Bake about 6-8 minutes per inch of thickness. Fish will flake with a fork and take on a slight opaque color when cooked.
Here's the printable recipe.