It's a funny thing with food - there are so many dishes that look so simple and basic, but are truly a challenge. Grilling up a steak seems like a no-brainer, but actually takes quite a bit of skill to get the correct doneness. Pastry dough for the homey and classic apple pie...no sweat, right? Not quite; it takes experience to get the dough together and rolled out to perfection to ensure all the flaky goodness we love.
There are exceptions to this rule, though, and today's dish is one of the finest. It has a beautiful presentation that will bring many "oohs & ahhhs" at the table, but in reality, it couldn't be any easier to make! Everything from prep to plate takes just under 45 minutes! Lemon & Dill Roasted Salmon with Sauteed Mushrooms is a dish that you need to have in your rotation, whether for a weeknight meal or dinner party!
The hardest part of this dish is finding quality salmon. Once you have that, you are golden. Bright lemons and savory dill mesh with the 'melt in your mouth' fish, and you have the perfect main dish. When served with sauteed mushrooms in butter... well, it really takes it over the top!
Lemon & Dill Roasted Salmon with Sauteed Mushrooms
2 pounds of fresh wild salmon filet, skin on (try to buy a piece of fish with the same thickness throughout, a center cut if possible)
1 lemon, washed
A handful of fresh dill, washed and dried
kosher salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 350F. Place the fish, skin-side down, on a cutting board or directly on your baking sheet. Make sure all the small pin bones are removed (you can ask your fish monger to do this for you). Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper on the flesh-side. Most people under-season their fish, which seriously detracts from the final product. Take the dill and chop finely. Sprinkle over the fish.
Cut half the lemon into thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick. Take the remaining half, and squeeze the lemon juice onto the fish, being careful to catch any seeds. Arrange the lemon slices (I like to make it look like scales!) over the top of the fish. This will bake some of the lemon flavor into the fish, but is also a part of the presentation).
Transfer the fish to a baking sheet if not already on one, and place into your preheated oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes. At 20 minutes, your fish will be 'medium' (very soft, just-cooked flesh). At 25 minutes, the fish should be completely cooked through (firm and flaky texture).
After your preferred cooking time, pull the fish from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, slide the tip between the skin and flesh, then lift. The flesh should pull away cleanly and easily from the skin.
Slice with a very sharp knife if serving individually (the fish will flake instead of cut if your knife isn't sharp enough), or serve 'family style' on top of the mushrooms. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs.
Sauteed Mushrooms in Butter
1/2 pound of mushrooms (we used a mix of shiitake, white, chanterelle, and oyster mushrooms)
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
Wash and pat dry the mushrooms. In a medium saute pan over high heat, melt the butter. Add the mushrooms, garlic powder, as well as salt and ground black pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until most of the water in the mushrooms has cooked out. They will reduce in size. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.