Slow-Roasted Salmon with Figs


Late summer summons the best kind of gatherings; they're lazy and laid back, yet the energy is filled with momentum for the school year and season ahead.

Our neighborhood supper club, which informally kicked off surrounding our  intramural summer softball league, has taken a more formal approach to the remainder of the calendar year. We've switched to Wednesdays to make the most of our hump day! As we rotate who plays "host," I've been consistently asked to bring a special, shareable dish to our eight-person dinner table. Especially when transferring from our kitchen to our friends' down the street, I opt for a simple method that yields a satisfying course.

Thus, I have found our answer for the first supper club get-together. I believe the following preparation is truly the best way to cook salmon. Your already-fatty fish gets to luxuriously roast in even more fat (extra virgin olive oil) alongside herbs and citrus of your choice, making the filet nearly impossible to overcook. As if bringing a dish to another's home isn't enough pressure; fear of overcooking or ruining your end-product is a terrible feeling that I hope we all avoid! In this case, slow-roasted salmon is absolutely avoiding the potential mishap.

The final product looks fantastic, takes minimal time -- and did I mention it's temperature-friendly? I've had this recipe in hot, room temperature, and chilled situations. All are marvelous.

The cherry on top is a fresh fig overlay, whose organic look and textured interior add a sweet punch to the flaky fish. Course sea salt brings out the best of the local produce's flavor, in my opinion, so don't skimp on the finishing salt! A drizzle of balsamic vinegar brings additional sweetness to the table, if you're in the mood. Otherwise, a squeeze of fresh lime juice naturally enhances your finished filet.


Serves 8

1 2-pound piece of skinless salmon filet
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups olive oil
2 lemons, thinly sliced
6 sprigs of thyme (optional)
1 pint fresh figs
Flaky sea salt

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in a large baking dish with lemons and thyme, if using.

2. Drizzle ingredients with olive oil and bake until salmon is just turning opaque around the edges, 25 to 35 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and transfer to serving dish. Serve hot, room temperature, or chilled. Just before serving, liberally line center with figs and flaky sea salt.