Salmon makes even the quietest weeknight dinner feel like a special occasion. I like this recipe for Garlic Herb Baked Salmon because it’s simple and quick and turns out perfectly every time. The best part is the delicious garlic and herb aroma that fills my kitchen as I wait for the fillets to cook — it’s positively dreamy.
Not all salmon is created equal, unfortunately. I like wild caught Pacific salmon. Sometimes, depending on your location, you can get great deals when salmon is in season. King salmon is almost always a splurge, but aboslutely worth it, in my opinion. Coho and Sockeye are very good too. I tend to gorge on Copper River Sockeye when it is in season. I have also had good experiences with salmon marketed as “Pink” although I rarely see it fresh.
You don’t have to buy fresh salmon for this dish, however! There are some very good pre-frozen fillets available that both make this dish more affordable and a lot less hassle. Not to mention that you don’t need to worry about keeping track of salmon seasons in order to get good fish! Frozen salmon means no special trip to the supermarket, you just pull the fillets out and defrost them when you need them. The only rule with frozen salmon is that you must be sure it is thoroughly defrosted before you use it for this recipe. I recommend defrosting it in a covered dish in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.
This is a very simple dish, and its beauty is not just in the delicious fish, but in the aromatics. The garlic, dill, and parsley combine to make a flavor and aroma that is nothing short of mouthwatering. I usually have plenty of fresh herbs left over so my favorite thing to do is incorporate them into my side dish.
One of my favorite things to do is steam 2-3 pounds of small potatoes and then toss them in an herbed garlic butter concoction. To do this, I simply put 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the butter melts, I add a few tablespoons of fresh herbs and 3-4 cloves of minced garlic along with a generous amount of salt (about a teaspoon) and fresh cracked black pepper. Simply stir and let the mixture heat for 3-4 minutes over low flame, being sure not to let it simmer, bubble, or brown. Then simply toss the freshly steamed potatoes in the herbed butter concoction and serve alongside the salmon and a fresh steamed green vegetable or green salad.