Herb Garlic Baked Salmon

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.

Fresh raw salmon fillets.

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.

Herb Garlic Baked Salmon

3 from 8 votes
Recipe by Add Recipes Course: Dinner
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

12

minutes

Simple garlic and herb topping for baked salmon fillets.

Ingredients

  • 4 4-6 oz Salmon fillets

  • 1 Lemon

  • 2 cloves Garlic

  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon Dill, fresh

  • 1 tablespoon Parsley, fresh

  • Kosher salt or sea salt

  • Black pepper, fresh cracked

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C). Line baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  • Peel garlic cloves. Slice each clove lengthwise into 4-5 thin slices.
  • Remove dill frond leaves from main thick stem. Chop frond leaves finely.
  • Remove parsley leaves from stems. Chop parsley leaves finely.
  • Cut lemon into wedges.
  • On plate or in shallow dish, toss salmon fillets in extra virgin olive oil to coat. Remove excess oil from fillets once coated. Place on prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. If fillets have skin, place skin down.
  • Sprinkle each fillet generously with Kosher salt or sea salt. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  • Place 3-4 garlic slices on top of each salmon fillet. Sprinkle each fillet with chopped fresh dill and fresh parsley.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until salmon is cooked. Do not overcook. Flesh should turn opaque and flake slightly when done. Serve with fresh lemon wedges — squeeze lemon over fillets to taste.

Notes

  • Wild Pacific salmon is preferred: King, Coho, or Sockeye. Fillets may be previously frozen, but ensure they are thoroughly thawed before baking.
  • Fresh herbs may be substituted with dry herbs. Suggest using one teaspoon of each as substitution. Consider soaking dry herbs in small amount of olive oil for 10 minutes before applying to salmon.
  • Other fresh herbs may be used in place of dill and parsley, such as tarragon, rosemary, thyme, or chives.
  • Salmon has bones, however your fishmonger may have done a thorough job of deboning your salmon. Before preparing salmon, run fingers over fillets with some pressure and remove any obvious bones you may feel. While eating finished dish, watch for any bones and remove them.

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.

Fresh dill and parsley.

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.

Salmon fillets prepared for baking.

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