Salmon Fillet Roasted in Lemon Butter

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

This is the flip side of the recipe: a salmon fillet roasted fast in a super-hot oven. Try them both and see which you prefer. In this approach, the fish cooks in a fragrant bath of butter and herbs. I call for a whole fillet, or side of salmon, but you can also roast individual portions.


  • ½ cup(1 stick) butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • cup crisp, light-bodied white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 boned salmon fillet, 2 to 3 pounds, skin on or off
  • ¼ cup mixed fresh chopped herbs, such as tarragon, chives, or parsley, or a combination


Preheat the oven to 500°F. In a small saucepan, combine the butter, olive oil, wine, lemon juice and zest, sugar, salt, and pepper, and warm gently. Pour half of the mixture into a shallow roasting pan that will just fit the salmon fillet. Lay the fillet in skin side down, and then drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the top and sprinkle on the herbs. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven. Roast for 8 minutes or so, then uncover and check for doneness in the thickest part of the fish with the tip of a knife. The flesh should be firm but still slightly translucent in the middle. (Most home oven thermostats are notoriously inaccurate, especially at very low and very high temperatures, so do check on the fish, and don’t be surprised if it cooks even faster or needs a little more time.) If necessary, return the uncovered pan to the oven and roast 3 to 4 minutes more or until just done. Using two spatulas, remove the salmon to a warm platter and spoon the juices over the top. Serve warm.