Herb-Stuffed Baked Salmon

This is a stuffed side of salmon rather than a whole stuffed fish, and it’s lovely. I made it for my wife, Johanne, on Mother’s Day and served it with a peppery watercress and potato salad. She loved it so much she wanted it again for her birthday two weeks later.–Guy Mirabella

LC Salmon Skin Serenity Note

A superlatively sumptuous, stupendously simple side of salmon. No swimming upstream with this easy peasy yet impressive recipe. But You’ve not truly lived—not sumptuously, anyways—until you’ve indulged in crisped salmon skin. That’s right—skin. The uber-crisped, ocean-y riff on a pork rind tastes even better than its piggy counterpart as there’s still some supple, vibrant salmon clinging to the underside of the skin. Go ahead. Take a nibble as you transfer the fish from pan to platter. We’ll never tell. One last boon to this recipe is it makes ample servings for you to take some to work the next day. It’s lovely cold, so although you’ll have to set aside that soggy skin, you’ll spare your colleagues the stench of fish reheated in a microwave. Trust us. It’s better this way. For everyone.

Herb-Stuffed Baked Salmon Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices sourdough bread, torn into chunks
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Handful mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, oregano, and thyme leaves, chopped
  • Pinch dried chile flakes
  • One 3- to 4-pound side of wild salmon, skin on, pin bones removed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for the roasting pan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 2 large lemons, thinly sliced

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  • 2. Combine the sourdough bread, pine nuts, garlic, mixed fresh herbs, and chile flakes in a food processor and blend until you end up with coarse breadcrumbs.
  • 3. Wash the salmon and pat it dry. Trim the thin ends and sides to create a neat rectangular shape, reserving the scraps for another dish such as pasta or salad. Rub the salmon skin and flesh with the oil, salt, and pepper. Cut the rectangle in half to create 2 squarish pieces.
  • 4. Place 4 lengths of kitchen string (each about 18 inches) on a work surface perpendicular to you and parallel to one another, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Place half the dill sprigs on the strings, placing the dill perpendicular to the strings. Place a square of salmon on the dill, skin-side down. Place a quarter of the lemon slices along the center of the salmon and then press the breadcrumb mixture onto the lemon and salmon. Make another row with 1/3 of the remaining lemon slices along the top of the breadcrumb mixture. Place the other square of salmon on top, skin-side up, placing the thick end of the top piece over the thin end of the bottom piece so you get a roughly even thickness all over.
  • 5. Cover the salmon with the remaining dill sprigs and tie the strings, securing the salmon squares together. Don’t tie the salmon too tightly. You want it just secure enough to hold everything in place.
  • 6. Generously oil a roasting pan just large enough to hold the salmon. Arrange the rest of the lemon slices in the pan and place the stuffed salmon on top of them. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes if you like the thicker parts of the salmon to be a little rare in the middle. If you don’t like it this rare, cook it for a little longer. Let the salmon rest for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a serving platter and cut the strings. Slice the salmon with a sharp knife-it will fall apart as you do so-and make sure you scoop up ample stuffing and lemon with each slice that you serve.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice says:

    [Helen Doberstein] What a great way to prepare salmon! As easy as a weeknight meal but nice enough for the weekend. The ingredient list isn’t complicated and it allows for a little variety in the herbs used. The stuffing came together very quickly in the food processor. I was worried that using so much dill in the dish might be too much, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t overwhelming at all. Rather, it made a nice background to the fish. My fish was done in 30 minutes and letting it rest for five or six minutes gave me enough time to finish the side salad. I will definitely make this winner dinner again and might even substitute trout fillets for the salmon next time, making individual servings.

  2. Testers Choice says:

    [Jo Ann Brown] Some might read “side of salmon”, “kitchen string” and think uh-oh… complicated. Have no fear; dragging my food processor out of the pantry to make the stuffing was more complicated then layering said ingredients and tying up this baby.  Oh, and bonus…since it serves eight, we had lunch the next day too–cold baked salmon over raw chopped kale salad. Yum! I found this recipe easy, thoughtful, and delicious. This is a keeper!

  3. Testers Choice says:

    [Sofia Reino] None of us are big salmon fans, apart from our toddler (because it is a pink fish and pink is her favorite color). Well, everyone loved this simple recipe. The salmon was cooked to perfection, although I had to add seven more minutes to the oven time. The “green paste” in the middle was flavorful and great in combination with the salmon.

  4. Testers Choice says:

    [Marilyn Canna] What a wonderful mess this baked fish recipe is! I love finding new ways to cook salmon, and this stuffed and layered version was quite intriguing. Once you assemble the ingredients, it’s a cinch. In fact, you also “cinch” the salmon square layers before you bake them with kitchen twine so that they keep their shape afterwards. But the stuffing (there’s always more than you need, right?) fell out, the lemon slices were slightly undercooked, and the dill fronds blackened. I even accidentally used a plain baguette instead of a sourdough one for the rough crumbs. And it still worked. As the method indicates, though, be prepared for undercooked-in-the-middle salmon unless you add a few more minutes to the cooking time. Also, I would put the leftover stuffing in a small casserole, dot it with butter, bake it, and have it as a side dish. You need more of the almost buttery blend of fresh herb, garlic, and pine nuts in every bite to balance the tartness of the fresh lemon. I layered the strings, salmon, stuffing, and the rest right in the pan. It was cleaner and easier than on the counter. You can make this year-round, though it’s particularly attractive when you can find the fish on sale, the herbs for a reasonable price, and ways to use the quantities of remaining herbs within a few days.

  5. Chrik says:

    This was delicious! I baked it for a bit longer than the recipe called for, as it came out a bit underdone the first time, and it came out perfect and moist. I would add something spicy to the fish-perhaps rub some crushed red pepper and chili powder directly onto the fish. That’s just me, though-I need my kick. Thank you!

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