Salmon is a fabulously versatile addition to any menu. It has the allure of being both a little fancy, yet (surprisingly) easy to prepare, even when cooking an entire salmon half (which can certainly feel intimidating when it's sitting in all of its glory in front of you!). With this recipe you can get a perfectly succulent, mouth-watering moist piece of fish within less than 10 minutes prep time and 20 minutes in the oven - great for when you don't have a lot of time on your hands, but want a dish to impress!
The flavours used here to dress up the salmon are a simple combination of fresh dill and lemon slices, which together are a total match made in taste bud heaven. I love serving this with my simple herbed potato salad recipe and a fresh bowl of greens - it's the perfect summer dinner, ideal for when you'd rather be out on the patio with friends enjoying the sun, then slaving away in the kitchen!
In New Zealand we're lucky to have access to fresh quality produce, whether that be fruit, vegetables, organic dairy or fish. The lovely salmon I've used here is from a company called Regal New Zealand Salmon, who sustainably raise and farm their salmon in the crystal clear cool waters of the stunning NZ Marlborough Sounds, producing a beautiful fish with great flavour, colour and texture. Where our food comes from is important - not just for our health, but also the health of the environment.
From a nutritonal perspective, salmon is an incredibly rich source of the essential fatty acid omega-3. This nutrient, deemed "essential" meaning our body is unable to make it itself and so we must get it from our food, really has superstar health properties. It's a powerfully anti-inflammatory, and so when eaten will actually help to reduce inflammation in the body - pretty magic stuff nature is! It's also a serious brain food, with omega-3 being an essential component of the cell membranes of our brain cells (meaning they're one of the building blocks of our brain cells!), and play an important role in memory and cognitive function.
2. Pat salmon fillet dry with paper towels, and place skin side down on the baking paper. Using tweezers, carefully remove any pin bones from the salmon fillet - the best way to do this is to pull them out in the same direction they're orientated in, otherwise the flesh might rip.
3. Drizzle over olive oil and rub all over fillet. Season well with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the chopped dill evenly. Slice lemon evenly and thinly, and place over top of the fillet.
4. Bake in the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes, or until just cooked through - when the salmon is easily flaked with a fork it's ready to be enjoyed!