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Wild Salmon Roasted in Olive Oil and Herbs with Tomatillo, Black Bean, Avocado Salsa

Wild Salmon Roasted in Olive OilThis fantastic method for roasting salmon in a sizzling hot pan came from cookbook writer and New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman. Bittman cooks the way I like to, with the emphasis on good ingredients but simple preparation methods, and I’ve had pretty consistent success with his recipes. This recipe called for the salmon to be roasted in butter, but when I read farther and saw that Bittman said you could use olive oil, I knew I wanted to try it. He recommended fresh chervil, parsley, or dill for the herb, but said that basil or thyme could also work. I used a blend of dry herbs called Claudia’s Fantastic Fish Blend, which I got as a present from Christine. Obviously you can use lots of different herbs in this recipe, so use whatever appeals to you.

After I took these photos (and eaten the salmon!) I realized this was going to be a recipe for wild salmon roasted in olive oil and I should have used less of the Tomatillo Black Bean Salsa so you could see the fish! I do think wild salmon is the perfect fish for this cooking method, since it’s so flavorful. Luckily I have step-by-step photos that show how the salmon looked when it was done, so scroll down for that.

Rub the fleshy side of the salmon with herbs and let sit at room temperature while a roasting pan with olive oil is preheating in the oven.

When the oil in the pan is sizzling (about 5 minutes) put salmon in pan, skin side up. Put roasting pan back in oven and roast 4-5 minutes, or until skin lifts off easily.

Take pan out of oven and remove skin from salmon. (Bittman says if the skin doesn’t come off easily, roast 1-2 minutes more, but I didn’t need to.) Removing the skin from the hot salmon was the hardest part of this recipe for me.

Season skin side of salmon with salt and pepper, then turn fish over, season with salt and pepper on flesh side, put back in oven, and roast about 3 minutes more, or until fish is done to your liking. Here’s the photo I promised to show you how the salmon looked without the salsa. Cooking the fish in a pre-heated pan browns it beautifully without overcooking.

Wild Salmon Roasted in Olive Oil and Herbs
(Makes 2-4 servings, depending on what else you serve with it. Recipe adapted slightly from Mark Bittman’s Salmon Roasted in Butter. Can be served with Tomatillo and Black Bean Salsa if desired.)

2 pieces skin-on wild salmon (about 8 oz. each)
2 T olive oil
chopped fresh herbs or dried herbs of your choice, enough to cover salmon (Recipe suggested fresh chervil, parsley, or dill but said basil or thyme could be substituted. I used Claudia’s Fantastic Fish Blend which is a dried blend of lemon basil, chives, dill, thyme, and celery.)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


Remove salmon pieces from refrigerator and let come to room temperature. Turn on oven to 450F and coat the roasting pan with olive oil and place it in the oven. (Bittman recommended 475F, but I was using my toaster oven which only goes to 450F.) While it heats, rub the fleshy side of the salmon with herbs and let sit at room temperature.

When oil in the pan is sizzling (about 5 minutes) remove pan and place salmon on it, skin side up. Put pan back in the oven and roast 4-5 minutes, or until skin lifts off easily. Pull off skin carefully, and season skin side of fish with salt and pepper.

Turn salmon over with herb side up and roast about 3 more minutes, or until it’s as done as you like it. (Total roasting time of about 7 minutes seemed perfect to me.)

Serve hot, with Tomatillo and Black Bean Salsa if desired.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This method of cooking salmon with olive oil is great for any phase of theSouth Beach Diet or any type of low-glycemic eating plan.

More Delicious Ways to Cook Salmon:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Grilled Salmon with Asian Dipping Sauce
Herb Encrusted Grilled Salmon
Grilled Salmon with Sun-Dried Tomato, Olive, and Caper Relish
Friday Night Grilled Salmon Two Ways
Grilled Salmon with Maple Syrup Glaze
Agave and Lime Salmon from Karina’s Kitchen
Black Pepper Salmon with Spinach from Gluten-Free Mommy
Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa from Laylita’s Recipes
Glazed Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce from Beyond Salmon
Cilantro Chile Salmon from Daily Unadventures in Cooking

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28 comments on “Wild Salmon Roasted in Olive Oil and Herbs with Tomatillo, Black Bean, Avocado Salsa”

  1. I made both the salmon and the tomatillo salsa last night for dinner, and both were exceptional — a really great combination, and a little different. For the salmon, I used dried dill and some lemon zest,

  2. Whitney, I’ll definitely be at BlogHer ’09. Look forward to meeting you. And don’t get discouraged on the diet; it really does work!

  3. I’m so glad I found you, Kalyn! I have never really tried to lose weight through a diet before but a friend and I are doing SB together. When I began finding you through Google, I remembered that I had heard of your site at BlogHer ’08. Assuming you’ll be at BlogHer ’09, I will find you to thank you. Cooking is feeling like such a drag on this diet, but every time I visit your site, I feel encouraged again.

  4. this looks orgasmic! i want that for dinner tonight!!!!

  5. Being a body builder my diet consists of alot of fish dinners. It looks fantastic. All i can say is Bam!

  6. Funny I found you through a salmon sauce and now I want to make this. 😀 Might be a few weeks, but I can’t wait to try it out!

  7. Wow! Great recipe! And thanks so much for the mention. I’m so glad you’re able to use Claudia’s herbs. If you’re using them up, you know where your source is…
    I’ll be happy to send more to you. :))

  8. The salmon looks absolutely beautiful! I can almost taste it… mmmm

  9. I love Bittman’s method for pan searing chicken breasts, and this method for salmon sounds like one to add to my list. Looks good!

  10. Looks great! We eat a lot of salmon so I’ll have to try it!

  11. Oh wow…I love Mark Bittman’s method for roasting salmon, thank you for the step by step photos!

  12. Fabulous looking dish and since I’m back to SBD with a vengence I’ll be visiting Kalyn’s Kitchen often.

  13. Oh wow, now that’s an idea I have to try! Love the idea of roasting in a pre-heated dish – I think I might give it a whirl in my cast iron skillet. Thanks 🙂

  14. You’re killing me here, and it’s only 9:30 in the morning! Wow. Some of my favorite things: salmon, black beans, avocado, oven roasting, olive oil.

    And I have to work. *sigh…

  15. Nutritious as well as appetizing food.

  16. What an amazing salsa! It would go really well on salmon.

  17. Just got to Costco this morning, and picked up some of their very good wild salmon. Didn’t have a plan for it, but here’s your post, so now I do have a plan!

  18. Yum – This is great and your timing is even better as Hubby just got back from Alaska and brought home about 100lbs of fish mainly Salmon and Halibut!! I will add this to my Salmon recipe to make list..

  19. I love this idea of roasting the salmon in a sizzling hot pan. I think I’ll try it using my trusty iron skillet. Thanks for another fabulous salmon recipe, Kalyn!

  20. Looks delicious Kalyn! I’m not a big fan of salmon, but I do like the wild varieties.

  21. This looks awesome! I’m always on the lookout for easier ways to cook fish since I think it’s so difficult to get done right.

  22. The salmon looks so good, with our without the salsa!! I am going to try this technique next time we have salmon!

  23. I feel healthier just looking at it and what a way to be good to your body!! Really beautiful.

  24. This is really a wonderful way of making salmon, just the way I like it! Thanks for showing us, this is bookmarked!

  25. Neat, I have never seen a method quite like that but I love how detailed it is – sounds hard to screw up. Plus all that olive oil mixing with the lovely fish oils. Yum!

  26. I love wild salmon. I can’t even eat the other stuff anymore! This looks like the perfect preparation for it, letting the flavor of that great fish shine through.

  27. OMG, that looks good. The salsa looks so good. My tomatillos are almost ready to harvest. I can’t wait now so I can make this. Yum

  28. I’m usually happy with plain, grilled salmon and a side of veggies, but this sounds delicious — and filling with all that avocado!

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