Let me warn you: Once you try wild-caught salmon, you will have a difficult time eating farm raised salmon again. The color difference is amazing. Wild-caught salmon has a deep, red flesh, and of course the farm raised is a light pink color. The wild-caught has a deeper, more intense flavor, and when I cook it, always comes out juicier and flakier (these are good things for fish). I got talking to a guy at the meat counter who said he’d just come back from Alaska and had some fish that his buddy had caught. He wouldn’t share, though, the big meanie.
I’m kind of in mourning right now. My trusty mandolin is trying to go to the other side of the cooking rainbow. The other night I was slicing sweet potatoes and realized they were not uniform. I started looking at my mandolin, and the thickness dial wasn’t locking in to place. So as I was slicing the potato, it was gradually moving down, making the slices go from 1/4″ (where I wanted them) to a thicker setting. The only place it locks is at 3/8″. This makes me sad. I can order a replacement part, but it’s $15 plus shipping.
Anyway, the point is, I usually use my mandolin to slice the lemons for this dish. Since it won’t lock in place, I had to slice them by hand with a knife. Since I’ve been spoiled with my mandolin, I really didn’t like this. Like, at all. If you’ve read my page Beginner’s Guide to Healthy Cooking, you’ll see that the mandolin is in the “not necessary but will make your life easier” category. I’m sorely tempted to move it to the “mandatory” category. That’s how much I hated slicing the lemons by hand. It can be done, but I’ll admit I was on the verge of a hissy fit.
Moving on. Most of my recipes don’t have a lot of inactive prep time, but this one does. It’s kind of nice because it lets me wash a few dishes while I’m waiting for it to bake or start on a side dish. I made roasted beets and mashed potatoes with this (potatoes for the guys – I passed on them this time). If you want to make roasted beets, which are divine by the way, it’s really simple. Chop the beets into bite-sized cubes, toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes (depending on size of beets).
1 large filet wild caught salmon (about 24 ounces)
Sea salt & ground black pepper
1 tsp thyme leaves
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange salmon filet, skin side down, in the center. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and thyme. Slice lemon very thinly (almost paper thin) and arrange slices touching (but not overlapping) across the fish.
Put salmon on the middle rack of cold oven and turn heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork at the thickest point. Let stand a couple of minutes before cutting into pieces. Remove skin from each piece before eating.