When the weather gets really pretty like this it makes me want to eat similarly springy foods. Ones that are bright and citrusy and won't put you into a carb coma. For me, this means seafood. One of the great things about going to school on the East Coast is that I get way better fish out here than I possibly could in Chicago. It's just a matter of logistics. Thusly, my body composition is roughly 60 percent seafood for eight months out of the year. I don't hate it.
Salmon is probably my favorite fish to eat, partially because it's so versatile and partially because it's very difficult to screw up. Tommy is also a big fan and when I visited him last weekend for Valentine's Day/C.R.A.S.H-B's (a massive indoor rowing race held annually in Boston) I decided to make salmon for him.
Since it was our first Valentine's Day together, we wanted to make it special and go to a nice restaurant. Only thing was, when we tried to find a reservation in January, everything was booked until 10 pm and your only dining option was a $100-plus pre fixe menu. So we said to hell with that, and I offered to cook us a nice dinner.
Tommy went off to afternoon practice and I went to Whole Foods to get the salmon. I got a gorgeous piece and the fishmonger very kindly removed almost all of the pin bones for me. Upon returning to the apartment, I realized Tommy had forgotten to give me his keys. I sat outside his door with a pound of salmon and a bottle of champagne in my bag for about five minutes, trying to decide what to do. My only choice was to schlep all the way over to the boathouse, a 20-minute walk from the apartment.
Luckily it was cold so the salmon didn't suffer any after sitting in my Longchamp for 40 minutes while getting smashed by bottle of champagne. And dinner turned out perfectly.
This recipe is super duper easy and only requires three ingredients besides salt, pepper and olive oil. It also looks really pretty which is an added bonus. It's a perfect dinner for this mild weather, until the second polar vortex hits anyway...
1 lb salmon (not steaks)
1/8 c. olive oil plus 1 tbs.
5-6 tbs. dill, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Oil the bottom of a baking dish with the 1 tbs. of olive oil. Line the bottom with the lemons, thinly sliced.
2. Mix together the dill, remaining olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place the salmon, skin-side down, on the lemons. Spread the dill-oil mixture on top, covering the flesh evenly.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filet.