Fresh Cold-Water Salmon with Cucumber & Dill
I’d like to take credit for this one, but this luscious salmon recipe comes from my favorite restaurant/bistro in St. Pete Beach, Florida – Cafe Luna. Sadly, Cafe Luna is no longer there, but this dish lives on and will most definitely help you live a Healthy Writer Life!
A note about your salmon choice: I prefer sustainably caught, cold water salmon, but that’s really hard to find. Try to avoid “farm-raised” American salmon with color added. Scottish salmon is farm-raised in pens in the ocean, so it is a happy medium as far as the health of the fish. I most commonly eat Faroe Island salmon – it is the best. The least “fishy” of the choices (if it’s fresh, barely any scent at all), tender and flaky with a beautiful, buttery texture.
Total Time 20 minutes
- Preheat oven to 450°F, or 435° convection
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet (with sides)
- 2 – 6 oz. salmon filets, skinned
- Sea salt
- Seafood blend seasoning, lightly applied (I love Sunny Paris from Penzey’s)
- Fresh dill to taste
- Rinse salmon filets quickly (with as little water as possible) and lay filets on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet next to each other. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt, dill, and seasoning.
- Top salmon with another piece of parchment (to stop splattering until the last few minutes of baking).
- Bake 12-15 mins. Take parchment off with about 5 mins to go for slight caramelization.
- When salmon is still slightly opaque in the middle, take it out of oven. It will keep cooking a bit, so don’t overcook it. If you know you like salmon medium-rare, 12 minutes should be plenty.
Prepare in a bowl while salmon cooks: Cucumber Dill Topping
Measurements are approximations. I don’t measure anything, I just squeeze lemons, cut dill, and spoon stuff in until it “looks right” for me. You can adjust the ingredients to fit your tastes.
- Thinly slice and halve 1/2 to 1/3 of an English cucumber (depending on size), peeled or unpeeled (your choice).
- Add 2-3 tsp. lemon juice (add a little lemon zest if you’re feeling adventurous!)
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
- 2 tsp. organic mayo
- 2 tsp. capers
- 2 Tbsp. crumbled organic or imported feta
Mix it all together and let sit at room temp until the salmon is ready.
Finish: Plate your salmon on a pre-warmed plate (microwave for 30 seconds), add the cucumber dill topping, and serve with a side of wild rice, jasmine rice, or a side salad.
Tip: Don’t want to heat up your house with a 450-degree oven? A high-quality toaster oven with convection will get it done to perfection. Keep cooking tray in the middle (not on the very bottom by the elements). Same temps/times apply.