Slow-Roasted Salmon

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This is the simplest recipe imaginable. What makes it work is that most of the natural fat in the salmon stays put and isn’t cooked away by high heat. You end up with a beautifully buttery, moist piece of fish. The skin helps promote this by sealing in the juices and also contributes flavor of its own. You don’t have to eat the skin if you don’t want to, but do leave it on while the fish cooks. (Obviously, you can cook a single fillet or as many as you can fit in your oven; just use more or less herbs and lemon zest.)


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 thick salmon fillets or steaks with skin on, about 5 ounces each
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, parsley, or chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest


Preheat the oven to 250°F. Gently rub a little olive oil into the flesh side of the salmon and season it lightly with salt and pepper. (Rubbing the fish will also give you the chance to feel for any little bones, which you can pick out with your fingers or tweezers.) Lay the salmon skin side down on a nonstick or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Combine the herbs and zest and sprinkle over the top, gently pressing into the flesh. Roast in the oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until just cooked through but still slightly translucent in the very center (check with the tip of a knife). Serve warm or at room temperature.


Instead of the chopped fresh herbs and zest, you could use one of the pestos.