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Make Ahead

Cold Slow-Roasted Salmon with Mustard Dill Sauce

February 23, 2024
3 Ratings
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Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 6-8 as a side or part of a buffet
Author Notes

This salmon recipe is based on a Swedish dish that I love to eat but dislike making, which is cold poached salmon. In this recipe you skip the need for a fish poacher, and skip the lifting and lowering of large sides of fish into water that you are desperately trying to keep on a steady simmer. Instead, a simple sheet pan and some time in a low oven is all you need to achieve still tender and moist salmon that's ready for any buffet table. As for the mustard sauce, there are as many variations of this sauce as there are kinds of mustard, but for simplicity's sake—as is the vibe of this recipe—I’ve supplied a straightforward and pared-down sauce. In a nod to the incoming spring season, I've done my best to make a bright herb salad. This creates not only an eye-catching garnish, but the citrus also compliments the richness of the fish. Feel free to swap in any fresh green herbs that you like, or better still, whichever fresh herbs are looking their best at the market. Extra points for edible flowers to boot! —Anna Billingskog

What You'll Need
  • For the salmon:
  • 1 side of salmon, about 2 1/2-3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

  • For the mustard sauce:
  • 1/3 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

  • For the herb salad:
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, leaves and tender stems
  • 1/2 cup dill, fronds and tender stems
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Flaky salt (like Maldon), to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place salmon skin side down on a sheet tray and drizzle evenly with the olive oil over the top. Season with the salt, and a generous amount of fresh black pepper. Roast 20-25 minutes. The fish will be opaque throughout and flake with little resistance from a fork or spoon. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cool, the salmon should be covered well and chilled for 4 hours or overnight. (Salmon can be made 1-2 days ahead of time, kept chilled and wrapped in cling film).
  2. For the mustard sauce, begin by whisking together the mustard, sugar, salt, and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly stream in the oil while whisking. Add the dill to the bowl and the freshly cracked black pepper, adjusting the seasoning to taste. (The mustard sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance, stored in an airtight container in the fridge.)
  3. When you are ready to serve the salmon, remove from the refrigerator to take the chill off about 30 minutes ahead of time. Remove the skin from the salmon in one piece if you can, and transfer to a platter. A wide thin spatula will be your friend here, and any cracks or breaks in the fish will be delightfully covered up by the herb salad, so you needn't worry.
  4. Meanwhile, make the herb salad. In a medium bowl, combine the mint, parsley, dill, and tarragon. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl along with the lemon juice and zest. Toss to combine and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  5. Garnish the salmon with the herb salad and a little flaky salt. Serve immediately with the mustard sauce for drizzling over the fish, together with any remaining herb salad on the side.

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