This is by far my favourite way to roast salmon. The intense flavour of caramelized lemons with the delicious aroma of dill in a smooth sauce of butter and wine is my idea of a simple yet exquisite meal. Before you go crazy when you read the title, as butter is like a “buzzer” for “absolutely not”, let me just point out that for four portions, 60 grams is not that much of a sacrifice, compared to the divinity of the taste. You can cook a whole salmon if you are entertaining, or half a salmon for a large family dinner. Don’t even think of discarding the pan juices (they are tasty enough to eat with a spoon), especially the roasted lemons that are great served with the fish.
- 4 salmon fillets
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 unwaxed lemon cut into 5mm slices
- 1 garlic clove, crushed with the side of a knife but left whole
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 60 grams unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
It’s best if you roast the fish in a small pan, so that it cooks in the juices. If you only have large pans (like me), roast the fish in aluminum foil.
Preheat oven to 200 C. Place the salmon fillets in the baking pan or aluminum foil, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the lemon slices and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the lemons for 1 minute, turning over a couple of times until they begin to colour around the edges. Add the honey and the wine. Bring to boil and let it evaporate for about a minute. Add the dill and the butter. Cook over low heat until butter has melted.
Pour sauce over the salmon fillets, placing 1 or 2 lemon slices on top of each one. Bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes until salmon is cooked but slightly pink in the middle. Serve at once with the sliced lemons and pan juices.