Roasted Salmon with Dill Sauce

Roasted Salmon with Dill Sauce Recipe

When roasting salmon, as with other fish, allow 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Consider adding some extra fresh dill and a drizzle of olive oil after roasting.–Barbara Kafka

LC Um, A Little Help, Please? Note

Can’t you just see yourself setting a stunning whole roast salmon down in the center of the table amid a chorus of oohs and aahs? Although then comes the moment of reckoning, sort of like after you plunk a beautifully burnished bird on the Thanksgiving table. What the heck do you do now, you may find yourself silently screaming.

Um, a little help, please?

The way we see things, you have a couple potential courses of action. Using your most impressive and sharpest knife, you can cut just below the head of the salmon through to the bone. Turn the knife at an angle and slice lengthwise along the spine, then carefully lift the fish fillet off the bone in a single piece, if you can, and transfer it to a second platter. Turn the fish over and repeat on the other side. Using a spatula, divvy the fillets into individual servings. Either that or forego all airs and pretense of civility and let everyone have at it with their forks.

Roasted Salmon with Dill Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 45 M
  • Serves 6


  • One 4-pound salmon (ask your fishmonger to scale, gut, and clean the fish—and to remove those gills, too, please—but to leave the head and tail on)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large bunches dill
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds


  • 1. Rinse the salmon and pat it dry. Wielding a large kitchen knife, cut three parallel diagonal slashes into each side of the fish, starting just behind the bones around the head and slicing almost but not quite through to the bone. Situate the fish diagonally in an 18-by-13-by-2-inch or similar-size roasting pan. (If part of the fish head and/or tail hangs over the corners of the pan, don’t worry, that’s fine.) Rub the olive oil and lemon juice into both sides of the fish, including the slashes, and also inside the cavity. Then sprinkle both sides of the fish with salt and pepper to taste. Cram 2 bunches of dill inside the cavity. Let the salmon rest at room temperature for about an hour.
  • 2. Meanwhile, finely chop the top fronds from the remaining bunch of dill and set them aside. About 45 minutes before you’d like to sit down to dinner, adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 500°F. Be sure to let the oven heat for at least 20 minutes.

  • 3. When the oven is ready, slide the salmon in its roasting pan into the oven and roast for about 25 minutes for medium to medium-rare salmon. (If you prefer your salmon more well done or if your salmon is thicker than 2 1/2 inches, leave it in the oven a little longer. We recommend reducing the oven temperature to 350°F after the first 25 minutes and continuing to roast it for 10 minutes or so more. You’ll end up with salmon that’s cooked almost all the way through yet remains remarkably moist.)
  • 4. Using two very large spatulas, carefully transfer the salmon to a platter. Place the roasting pan on top of the stove and add the white wine, almost all of the reserved chopped dill, and the dill seeds. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan vigorously with a wooden spoon. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain the dill sauce, if desired. Add the remaining chopped dill to the sauce, transfer to a small serving dish, and pass alongside the salmon.
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