Mark Bittman writes the Minimalist column for The New York Times. His most recent books are Food Matters and How to Cook Everything.
The most widely used sustainable seafood guide comes from the Seafood Watch Program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Download their pocket guide here.
Salmon Roasted in Butter
Serves 4 to 6
Be sure to preheat the butter or oil, along with a little bit of the herb, in a roasting pan in a hot oven. This preheating causes the fish to sizzle the instant it's set into the pan, so that it browns before it overcooks. If you start the fillet in a cold pan, it will simply turn a dull pink and will not brown until it is as dry as chalk.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
4 tablespoons minced chervil, parsley or dill
1 salmon fillet, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Place the butter and half the herb in a roasting pan just large enough to fit the salmon and place it in the oven. Heat about 5 minutes, until the butter melts and the herb begins to sizzle.
2. Add the salmon to the pan, skin side up. Roast 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, then peel the skin off. (If the skin does not lift right off, cook 2 minutes longer.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn the fillet over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper again.
3. Roast 3 to 5 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fillet and the degree of doneness you prefer. Cut into serving portions, spoon a little of the butter over each and garnish with the remaining herb. Serve with lemon wedges.
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