Slow Roasted Salmon with Miso Vinaigrette: A Simple Technique with Great Results
Salmon is a perfect summer main course. It can be poached, roasted or grilled with equally great results. I like to slow roast the salmon in a 275F oven. Whether I am serving it chilled or warm, the technique remains the same. I prefer this cooking technique to poaching salmon because I find it much easier and less cleanup. No need for a poaching vessel— just a baking sheet with sides. The slow roasting technique produces a creamy moist texture. An added feature is that the kitchen doesn’t get too hot.
I am often asked what kind of salmon I like best. My answer is it depends on what looks and smells the freshest. Farm-raised salmon is available year-round but many fish lovers reject this type due to its mild flavor. There is also controversy over whether farm-raised fish have higher levels of toxins than wild varieties. I ask my fishmonger what they know about the farm where the fish is raised and have they checked on the toxin levels. If I am satisfied with their answer I will purchase it.
If you prefer wild salmon, you are in luck during the summer season since both Atlantic and Alaskan varieties are abundant at this time of year. When selecting your salmon, check for a slightly sweet odor and firm flesh. Salmon filets may have “pin” bones (tiny bones). These bones are often buried vertically in the thickest part of the flesh. To remove them press the meat with your fingers and remove any bones that appear. Tweezers come in handy for this job.
A light Asian-style miso and cucumber sauce complements the salmon just right. Serve this with a simple rice pilaf flavored with peas or zucchini and chopped cilantro for a satisfying quick dinner. To drink, why not try a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a California Viogner or a fruity slightly sweet Riesling?
- 2 tablespoons white (or light yellow) miso
- 1 teaspoon prepared wasabi
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup finely chopped European cucumber
- 2 pounds salmon filets, skin removed, cut into 4 to 6 equal serving pieces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together. You can add more oil if the sauce is too thick. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 275˚.
- Rub both sides of each piece of the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place skin side down on a nonstick or foil lined baking sheet.
- Roast in the oven at 275º for 18 to 22 minutes, depending upon the thickness or until flaky and just cooked through. Thicker pieces will require longer roasting. The salmon will appear very moist.
- Place the salmon on serving plates and spoon the vinaigrette over the salmon and serve immediately