Kitchn Love Letters

This Recipe Forever Changed the Way I Cook Salmon

updated Mar 27, 2021
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Credit: Alexis Buryk

When asked to recommend a salmon recipe — be it for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion — it’s all but guaranteed I’ll suggest Kitchn’s foolproof salmon with herbs. And not only will I suggest it, but I’ll also rave about how impressive it looks, how buttery and bright it tastes, how easy it is to pull off, and how the leftovers make the perfect addition to a salad the next day.

I vividly remember the first time I made this recipe. It was about six years ago, shortly after The Kitchn Cookbook was released, and I hosted a Sunday gathering at my apartment where the entire menu came from the book. This salmon was the main course. While I’d cooked salmon at home plenty of times before, it wasn’t something I was confident in, and I was incredibly nervous about overcooking it.

I shouldn’t have worried. Not only did it turn out great, but it also forever changed the way I cook salmon, and gave me more confidence about cooking fish than I’d ever had before. That’s because it introduced me to slow-cooking salmon, the most forgiving and foolproof technique there is. Cooking the salmon at a low heat leaves a wide margin for error, so even if it’s left in the oven for a few minutes too many, it won’t overcook. The salmon comes out of the oven with the most tender, buttery, flaky texture, blanketed with bright, fresh flavor.

Credit: Alexis Buryk

The Most Simple and Impressive Salmon You Can Make

In addition to how forgiving it is, the beauty of this recipe is that it requires such minimal effort for such a huge reward. You’ll start by chopping a shallot and a few herbs, either by hand, in a mini chopper, or in a food processor. The recipe suggests dill and parsley or tarragon, but any leafy green herb will work nicely. And if you like garlic, go ahead and throw a couple of chopped cloves in.

You’ll combine this mixture with a couple of glugs of olive oil, and then spread the herb paste over the salmon, which cooks in baking dish with more olive oil. The prep (which can be done in advance) takes all of five minutes, max, and once it’s in the oven, it requires no more attention. Make it just once, and you’ll quickly see why it’s my forever favorite.

At Kitchn, our editors develop and debut brand-new recipes on the site every single week. But at home, we also have our own tried-and-true dishes that we make over and over again — because quite simply? We love them. Kitchn Love Letters is a series that shares our favorite, over-and-over recipes.