It’s no wonder salmon is one of the most popular fish. Its flesh is rich-tasting, thanks to high levels of heart-healthy oils, and it takes well to many treatments. The key is to avoid overcooking it, especially wild salmon, which is leaner than farmed.
Our hybrid roasting method solved this by heating the oven to 500 F before dropping the temperature to 275 F. The initial blast of heat firmed the exterior and rendered some fat while the fish gently cooked.
Salmon is often roasted in butter, but we wanted a healthier approach that would contrast with the fish’s richness. So we made a bright tangerine relish perked up with spicy ginger.
Skin-on salmon fillets hold together better during cooking. If you can’t find tangerines, you can use oranges. If your salmon is less than 1 inch thick, start checking for doneness early. If using farmed salmon, cook until thickest part of fillet registers 125 F.
OVEN-ROASTED SALMON WITH TANGERINE AND GINGER RELISH
Start to finish: 35 minutes
Salmon:4 (4- to 6 ounce) skin-on wild-caught salmon fillets, 1 inch thick
1 teaspoon cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Relish:4 tangerines, rind and pith removed and segments cut into 1/2 inch pieces (1 cup)
1 scallion, sliced thin
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
Salt and pepper
For the relish: Place tangerines in fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl and drain for 15 minutes.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon tangerine juice from bowl. Whisk in scallion, lemon juice, oil, and ginger. Stir in tangerines and season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the salmon: Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 F. Pat salmon dry with paper towels, rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Once oven reaches 500 F, reduce oven temperature to 275 F. Remove sheet from oven and carefully place salmon, skin-side down, on hot sheet. Roast until centre is still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and registers 120 F (for medium-rare), 4 to 6 minutes.
Slide fish spatula along underside of fillets and transfer to individual plates or serving platter, leaving skin behind; discard skin. Top with relish and serve.