Botanica’s philosophy is all about making vegetables the star – but sometimes, when something so very special is in season, we’re all about letting it shine, regardless of its origins. Such is the case with this salmon dish, which we only make when exceptionally delicious wild Pacific Northwest salmon is on hand. It’s the best with King, though we’ll never turn up our noses at a beautiful piece of Coho or Sockeye. The way salmon’s rich fat melds with the herb- and shallot-infused olive oil-citrus sauce is a thing of beauty.
The inspiration behind this beauty comes from one of our all-time favorites, the Chez Panisse Café Cookbook. Next time you encounter some gorgeous fresh wild salmon, spring for a whole side, make this recipe, invite friends over for dinner, and toast to the deliciousness of nature.
Preheat the oven to 200°F. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, shallot, citrus zests and juices, herbs, honey (warmed, if it needs to be thinned), salt and pepper; stir well to combine.
Place the salmon on an olive-oil-brushed pan or baking sheet, skin-side down, and pour the dressing on top. Season with another sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place in the oven, on the middle rack, and roast for 30-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. It’s done when the filet has oozed its opaque white albumin (aka protein) and the densest part of the fish flakes easily with a fork. The ideal situation is that the thinnest parts of the filet are cooked through but wholly moist, and the thickest part at the center is just above medium-rare.
Serve in its roasting dish (it will fall apart if you try to move it!), and be sure to scoop plenty of pan juices over each serving.