This is an incredibly elegant presentation for salmon. Yet, it is also one of the easiest dishes in my repertoire. It is simple, and the flavors have great depth. The preparation is so blissfully easy. It looks and tastes like it is not easy, which doubles its value in my book. I found it in Bon Appetit (12/08). It would be great for a big group. The sauce for the salmon is amazing with asparagus, too. This took only about 15 minutes to prep, and about 20 minutes in the oven. I have used both fresh herbs and dried herbs in the sauce in the past and both worked beautifully.
|Mustard Tarragon Salmon...easy and elegant|| |
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup spicy brown mustard
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (I used 2 tablespoons dried tarragon)
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (I used 2 tablespoons of dried chives)
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 3½ pound whole side of salmon with skin on
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place salmon, skin side down on either a rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish. Spoon ½ cup of the mustard sauce on the salmon. Spread it over the salmon, covering it completely. Roast until the salmon is opaque in the center, about 15 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a platter. Serve with remaining mustard sauce on the side (or ladled over asparagus).
You can check for doneness by sliding a sharp knife into the fish somewhere in the middle and gently leaning your knife to the side so that you can see the fish right in the middle.
Note: Let’s talk about “opaque.” Aside from being a fantastic thing to call a moron, it is a term often used regarding the doneness of fish. Technically, it means no longer translucent…or put more simply, you can’t see through it anymore. This is easy to see on salmon because the fish turns from red and sort of see through to a pretty light pink flat “opaque” color. This is tougher on white fishes, where you go from white to a little more white. I once heard someone say that to cook fish one merely had to walk quickly through a warm kitchen holding the fish on a platter above your head as you scurried through…so as not to overcook it. I am a philistine who smugly orders over-cooked fish in restaurants and over-cook it intentionally at home, as well. You must decide for yourself where you fall on the spectrum of fish “cooked-ness”.
I used a smaller piece of fish, and it took 20 minutes because I like it a little more done. I served it with asparagus and warm crusty bread. And, miracle of miracles, BOTH of my kids loved the fish. I highly recommend this recipe. The reason that the small piece takes almost as long as the big piece is because the small piece isn’t really “smaller” it is just “shorter.” And, in case you are wondering, the asparagus in the photos was merely drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper…wrapped with prosciutto…and cooked in a grill pan. If you try it, just make sure you purchase asparagus that is on the skinny side, so to speak.