This Nov. 9, 2015 photo shows roasted salmon with lemons, prunes and olives in Concord, NH. It makes for a pretty dramatic and colorful holiday meal centerpiece. Plus, roasted salmon is incredibly easy, quick (taking minutes, not hours like many roasts), and is versatile. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

This Nov. 9, 2015 photo shows roasted salmon with lemons, prunes and olives in Concord, NH. It makes for a pretty dramatic and colorful holiday meal centerpiece. Plus, roasted salmon is incredibly easy, quick (taking minutes, not hours like many roasts), and is versatile. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

A holiday roast doesn’t need to be beef or bird. Try salmon!

  • By MELISSA D'ARABIAN
  • Tuesday, December 15, 2015 6:13pm
  • LifeFood

Who says a holiday roast has to be red meat or poultry? Take a page from my French husband’s family’s book of traditions and serve salmon!

I like to buy one single large fillet if possible, then serve it on the largest platter I can find. It makes for a pretty dramatic and colorful holiday meal centerpiece. Plus, roasted salmon is incredibly easy, quick (taking minutes, not hours like many roasts), and is versatile. Since we try to eat fatty fish twice a week in our home, this holiday favorite helps get us there, year-round.

My favorite roasted salmon strategy couldn’t be easier. Just brush the fillet with seasoned olive oil (which can be as simple as salt, pepper and oil), roast it quickly at high heat, then top it with a quick vinaigrette-style sauce. Mix together almost any combination of herbs, spices and aromatics with some acid (such as lemon juice or red wine vinegar) and oil, then spoon it over the just-roasted, piping hot fish. Delicious!

The hardest part about this dish? Not overcooking it! My advice is to take it out a couple minutes before you think it is done. It will be perfect. Or you also could use an instant thermometer and cook it to 135 F.

Roasted Salmon With Lemons, Prunes, and Olives

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

For the salmon:

2-pound wild salmon or steelhead trout fillet

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 lemons, thinly sliced, seeds removed

For the topping:

3/4 cup prunes, pitted and halved

3/4 cup briny, green olives, pitted, lightly chopped or left whole, as desired

2 tablespoons capers

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with kitchen parchment.

Set the salmon on the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix together the oil, garlic, lemon juice and a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper. Spread the seasoned oil over the fish, then arrange the lemon slices over it. Bake until cooked through, but the flesh is still a little translucent, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, set the prunes in a medium bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over them and set aside to soften for several minutes.

In a second medium bowl, mix together the olives, capers, parsley, dill, lemon juice and zest, and the olive oil. Drain the prunes, then add those. Mix well, then season with salt and pepper. As soon as the salmon comes out of the oven, carefully transfer it to a serving platter and spoon the prune mixture over it.

Nutrition information per serving: 340 calories; 150 calories from fat (44 percent of total calories); 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 95 mg cholesterol; 520 mg sodium; 16 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 34 g protein.

Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.” http://www.melissadarabian.net.

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Spring Fever

“OK, Boomer” is supposed to be the current put down by the “woke generation”

A headstone for J.E. Hill is photographhed in Anchorage, Alaska. (Findagrave.com)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 2

“Bob,” he said, “that crazy fool is shooting at us.”

File
Minister’s Message: Has spring sprung in your life?

Christ also offers us an eternal springtime of love, hope and life

Eggs Benedict are served with hollandaise on a bed of arugula and prosciutto. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Honoring motherhood, in joy and in sorrow

Many who have suffered this loss believe they must bear it in silence for the sake of propriety

Page from Seward daily gateway. (Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, Juneau, A.K.)
Night falls on the Daylight Kid — Part 1

Night Falls on the Daylight Kid—Part One By Clark Fair

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Spread love in these challenging times

I don’t know about you all, but the world feels pretty rough these days

Photos by Sean McDermott 
Artist Amber Webb starts works on a new drawing at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Her work will be on display at the gallery through the month of May.
Where the waters mixed

Artist uses art to explore the blurred boundaries between sorrow and celebration, hardship and healing

A copy of “Firefighting: the Financial Crisis and Its Lessons” rests against a typewriter on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Off the Shelf: An economy on fire

“Firefighting: The Financial Crisis and Its Lessons” gives a retrospective on the 2008 financial crisis

Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion
Prints are featured in the “Open Watercolor” show at the Kenai Art Center on Wednesday.
Playing with paint

Art center’s new exhibit displays the versatility of watercolors

Kalbi ribs can be served with an assortment of side dishes, including white rice, kimchi, roasted garlic cloves, broccoli salad, dumplings and soup. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Marking 1 year with a festive feast

Kalbi marinade makes ribs that taste like a party

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Moving on

I suggested to my wife that we could replace the old kids’ car with something “fun”

On Oct. 3, 1945, the Spokane Chronicle published this A.P. photo of Miriam Mathers and her goats as she prepared to board a Seattle steamship bound for Seward.
Tragedy and triumph of the Goat Woman — Part 4

Mathers had only three cents in her purse when she arrived in Kenai