I'm not usually a big believer in the whole "30 minute meal" schtick. I think that most recipes boasting the "30-Minute" moniker are just plain lying. I mean, reading through a recipe, gathering ingredients, finding your tools, and generally just getting your ducks in a row is a 15 minute affair, AT LEAST. Then there's the chopping, assembly, and actual cooking to do. Frankly, the whole ordeal is a sweaty exercise in disappointment.
This roast lemon salmon recipe, however, is a 30-minute meal that actually ONLY TAKES 30 MINUTES. I swear. It's pretty much a unicorn in that respect and has quickly become a client favorite for reason. Although short on prep time, it absolutely explodes with fresh citrusy flavor.
Scoring the fish prior to seasoning ensures that every single bite is full of flavor, while mincing the lemon zest into teeny squares rather than wispy grated curls (thanks Cooks Country for this trick) imparts an insane amount of lemony flavor that doesn't fade in the oven. Finally, a smattering of fresh basil prior to serving rounds out the sharpness of all the citrus and adds a tantalizing pop of color that will make you look like a culinary bada**.
All in just half an hour. Crazy, I know.
2 lbs. Salmon fillets, skin-on ( I like Verlasso. Don't skimp on price here.)
2 organic lemons
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons organic garlic powder
1 tablespoon organic dried oregano
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (cut into ribbons)
Heat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a very sharp knife, score the salmon. (Learn how to here.)
Place the scored salmon fillets on the baking sheet lined with parchment and season each fillet generously with kosher salt and lemon pepper. Set aside.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zest from 1 of the lemons. Slice the peels into matchsticks and then into a small dice. (Stacking a few of them up before slicing them into matchsticks helps makes quick work of this).
In a small bowl, stir together the minced lemon zest, shallot, garlic powder, dried oregano, olive oil, and the juice of half a lemon. Rub this mixture on top of each salmon fillet, carefully pushing it into the scored crevices. (Can let it sit at this stage for 30 minutes if you'd like.)
Bake the salmon fillets for 12-15 minutes, depending on their thickness and how rare you like your salmon.
While the fish bakes, slice what remains of the lemons into 1/4 inch slices and chiffonade or tear the basil into ribbons or pieces.
Using a spatula, carefully transfer the salmon to a serving platter and garnish with the lemon slices, chopped basil, and a small glug of extra virgin olive oil.