This method of cooking salmon ensures crisp skin and a moist medium-rare center every time. Plus, it gets infused with the intoxicating scent of lemon and dill.
Technique tip: Salmon flesh should never come in contact with the cooking surface because the fat will oxidize and dry up. Let the skin take the heat and crisp up in the process, too. Be sure to start with a very large pan or work in batches. You don't want to overcrowd the skillet or the salmon skin won't brown.
- Four 6-ounce thick skin-on wild salmon ﬁllets
- Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Avocado oil
- 4 springs dill, torn
- 1/2 lemon, zested
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Before you start cooking, pick out all the pin bones from the salmon with fish tweezers.
2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
3. Season the skin side of the fish with salt and the flesh side with salt and pepper.
4. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the skillet with a thin layer of avocado oil.
5. Add the salmon, skin-side down and cook for 1 minute, pressing down on the flesh side of the fish to prevent the whole thing from buckling. Lift the fillets and put them back down to help all the skin be in contact with the skillet so that it will brown evenly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and press the dill onto the flesh, then sprinkle the lemon zest on top. Top each fillet with 1 tablespoon of butter. At this point, the flesh should be halfway to opaque. Transfer the skillet to the oven.
7. Roast until a metal cake tester or thin-bladed knife slipped into the thickest part of the fillet comes out warm, about 4 minutes. Put on serving plates skin-side up.
Reprinted from Real Food Heals by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Seamus Mullen.