As all good cooks know, the bottom line of fish cookery is do not overcook. The problem is that by the time a fish looks cooked, it may already be too late.
Salmon should be allowed to rest after cooking, the same way meat is allowed to stand to allow the juices to seep back in, but, of course, not for too long. If you’re not careful, residual heat can give you a mushy side of salmon.
I learned the following salmon recipe from Michelin three-star chef
From spring to fall is wild salmon season. I think the best choices are the wild king salmon, also called chinook. Its flavor is deep, and its texture firm and moist. I don’t suggest using farmed salmon in these recipes. A French food critic wrote of the texture of farmed salmon flesh as “like a coverlet filled with duck’s down.” He concluded that “salmon are like men: too soft a life is not good for them.”
Serve your salmon at room temperature with a tasty piquant green sauce—either Sauce Martiques, made with capers, anchovies, herbs, and olive oil, or Jean-Louis Palladin’s Watercress Sauce.
With thanks to Russ Parsons for helping me rethink this recipe.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.