Especially around swimsuit season, I do most of my cooking with olive oil – sautéing, marinades, dressings, as a dipping for crusty bread, you name it. However, this recipe for salmon sautéed with a little butter, lemon peel and fresh herbs seemed irresistible to me, and at only 294 calories per serving, it left plenty of room for side dishes of roasted potatoes and a spinach tomato salad. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the pretty pink fish provides a full day’s requirement of vitamin D and plenty of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Mmm, fatty acids. Sounds appetizing, no? No, I didn’t think so. But, oh, it is!
The original recipe called for fresh dill, tarragon or lemon thyme, and parsley, but since I haven’t been able to find many herbs in the Austin markets, I just used parsley and a little dried dill. As soon as I start an herb garden of my own, though, I won’t hesitate to decorate and cook up plenty of dishes with whatever sprouts!
If you like the idea of this dish but aren’t a fan of salmon, try this recipe with another thick fish such as cod, halibut or trout. The combination of lemon, butter and herbs is super scrumptious on any fish and will create a tender, flaky filet with a crisp, caramelized coating that will have you rethinking restaurant reservations!
Sautéed Citrus-Herb Salmon
Yield: Serves 4
1 lb. skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or bias-sliced chives
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
Lemon peel and fresh herbs (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse fish; pat dry. Shred 1 teaspoon of peel from lemon; set aside. Juice half the lemon and set juice aside. In a small bowl combine lemon peel, snipped herbs, salt, pepper, and butter; stir to combine. Spread evenly on the salmon.
Heat a 12-inch nonstick oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add salmon, butter side down. Cook 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn salmon; pour lemon juice over. Place pan in oven and cook 3 to 7 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
Transfer to serving plates; drizzle with pan juices. Top with additional shredded lemon peel and snipped fresh herbs.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine, July 2011