Foolproof Salmon baked with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Herbs

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Skeptics, stand down. You’ve proved, over the life of this column, that no recipe is truly foolproof. But for those who have doneness issues with salmon, this preparation deserves its name. The olive oil underneath, a moist and herby coating on top and a low oven temperature join forces to make this fail-safe.

Serve with a mash of skin-on potatoes.


Tested size: 4 servings


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One 1 1/4-pound skin-on salmon fillet, preferably center-cut
Flaked sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large shallot (1 1/2-ounce lobe)
1/4 cup loosely packed dill fronds
Leaves from 4 to 6 stems flat-leaf parsley or leaves from 3 stems tarragon
1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Pour 1/4 cup of the extra virgin olive oil into a baking dish just large enough to hold the salmon. Lay the salmon in the dish, skin side down. Season it liberally with salt and pepper.

Coarsely chop the shallot and dill (together is okay) and place them in a mini food processor, along with the parsley or tarragon leaves. Use a Microplane zester to grate the zest of the lemon directly over the bowl of the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Pulse just long enough to create a coarse paste. Spread the paste over the top of the salmon in the baking dish.

Bake for about 25 minutes. To check for doneness, insert the tines of fork into the thickest part of the fish; the flesh should flake easily. If it doesn’t, bake for 2 or 3 minutes.

Slide a wide, thin spatula under the salmon to transfer it to a cutting board. Cut crosswise to create 4 equal portions; transfer to plates and serve warm.

Recipe source

Foolproof Salmon baked with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Herbs, 5.1 out of 10 based on 31 ratings

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