A Simple Way to Bake Fresh Salmon

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Photos by Liz Morrow

Salmon is one of the few things I feel natural cooking. You know, the thing you feel comfortable just whipping up without a recipe on the fly. Sort of Emeril “BAM!”-style. I’ve cooked it enough that it’s one of my solid, go-to meals. This past Christmas, we had my in-laws over for dinner, and I made salmon instead of a roast or turkey, simply because I knew it would be great, whereas I’m definitely not as practiced at those more traditional holiday meals. In my family, though, salmon is our traditional holiday meal. Sure, we had the Thanksgiving turkey and sometimes a Christmas ham, but at least one of our holiday meals was either king crab or sockeye salmon. When you’re an Alaskan, celebrating with the bounty of the Earth means lots of really amazing, fresh seafood. Thankfully, the Northwest has some pretty great seafood available. I might not be able to buy world-class king crab out of some guy’s pickup in the parking lot of an arena after a hockey game, but we’ve still got it pretty good in the seafood department here in the PNW. I think the seafood alone could keep me tethered to the West Coast for life.

 Spicy ginger beer garnished with lime is the perfect complement to this salmon recipe.

Spicy ginger beer garnished with lime is the perfect complement to this salmon recipe.

Perfect Salmon

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, cut into thin slices
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 large or 2 small salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • A few slices of red onion rings
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees for small fillets, or up to 375 degrees for a larger fillet.
  2. Combine the peach salsa ingredients and set aside in the fridge (recipe below).
  3. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil. Set salmon on the foil and add the thin slices of butter on the fillets. Sprinkle brown sugar and squeeze the lime juice onto the fish. Place onion slices on top and put the salmon in the preheated oven. Cook smaller fillets for 20 to 30 minutes; a larger fillet will take 40 or more minutes.
  4. Plate the salmon and add the salsa. My husband loved the salsa so much, his plate was 50 percent salmon, 50 percent salsa. Buy some chips to scoop up the rest. It’s too delicious to waste.

Tip: Wonder if your salmon is done? Use a fork to flake apart the fillet at the thickest part to see if it’s cooked through.

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Juicy Peach Salsa

Juicy Peach Salsa

  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • ½ medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1½ pounds of peaches, diced
  • ¼ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine and let chill!

Tip: The freshest local peaches start ripening in Washington state about mid-July. You can still get great peaches at the grocery store now, though.

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is a South Sound contributor and a blogger, writer, photographer, designer, and author at Delightfully Tacky.
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