It’s that time of year where I think about the salmon fillets still at the bottom of the freezer, and how I need to cook them so they don’t get freezer burned — while also making room in the freezer for more come summer.
I’m sure everyone on the peninsula who indulges in salmon (almost everyone right?) have their own back-pocket way of making salmon that doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, or a recipe, or really, any forethought. Just a quick and easy dinner.
For me growing up, this was baked salmon seasoned with salt and pepper and lemon, served with steamed vegetables and rice.
That’s fine and good, but I like to take it up a notch or two with shelf-safe pantry staples you can grab at the last second. This could be anything. Soy sauce, harissa, mustard, potato chips or whatever unique spices you stock your pantry with.
This recipe was born at my friend Sasha’s house when we were in college. We were studying and hanging out and we decided to cook up a frozen salmon fillet for dinner. Once we were hungry and in the kitchen, we decided to try sun-dried tomatoes along with a lemon and pepper spice blend. We loved our creation, and it’s just one example of how pantry staples can be thrown together for an easy dinner.
For this recipe, I’ll be using sun-dried tomatoes. They usually come in a jar that’s packed with oil and sun-shriveled tomato pieces.
I like using this because I think sun-dried tomatoes are super delicious and have a lot of sweetness and acidity. The oil the tomatoes sit in is also extremely flavorful, and this recipe will use both components.
The measurements in this recipe are suggestions. The amount of sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper will be determined by your taste and the size of your salmon fillets.
Sasha’s super simple savory salmon
1 salmon fillet
Sun-dried tomatoes to taste (I put about 10 tomatoes on each fillet)
Salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of each)
1/4 cup of sun-dried tomato oil from jar, and/or olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half, with one half squeezed over the fillet and the other half cut into thin slices
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a baking sheet covered by foil, lay out your salmon fillets and season with the salt, pepper and lemon juice.
2. Pull the sun-dried tomatoes from the jar and place evenly across the top of the fillet.
I use about 10 tomatoes per fillet, but you can use as many or as little as you’d like. Carefully drizzle the sun-dried tomato oil over the salmon, until the fillet is mostly coated.
3. Bring up the edges of the foil around the fillet, creating a small basket for the salmon. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until it’s mostly pink and flakes away when a fork is pushed against the flesh.