Tag Archives: salmon

Roasted Salmon with Lemon Butter

One of my friends call this roasted salmon “the beautiful dinner.”    There is no doubt that this is a dish that rises to the occasion.  I’ve made it for a gathering to support a friend whose mother had passed away and more recently for a special birthday dinner.  Even the birthday girl’s husband — a notoriously picky eater who is usually just so-so about salmon — asked for second helpings.

Since the flavor of the salmon shines through this simple preparation it is important to buy the best salmon you can find.   In general, wild salmon will have the best flavor, but it is not available fresh year round.   When wild salmon is out of season, seek out a fish monger who sells sustainably farmed fish.  I recently found sweet, melt in your mouth, salmon from Loch Duairt, Scotland at Dirk’s Fish Market in Chicago.

I was inspired by a recipe for whole, baked salmon in Colman Andrew’s “The Country Cooking of Ireland.”  Since I don’t often see whole salmon in Chicago fish markets, I typically use a large salmon fillet.  I usually serve it with boiled new potatoes in their skins with lots of Irish butter or roasted fingerling potatoes and a spinach gratin.

Almost as delicious is leftover cold salmon for lunch the next day served with a peppery watercress mayonnaise.  Watercress is salmon’s natural partner — what grows together goes together.  As a bonus, the bright spring green mayo served with the pink fish is a beautiful plate.  To make the mayonnaise, puree a bunch of trimmed and finely chopped watercress in a food processor with two tablespoons of mayonnaise.   Stir the watercress puree into a cup of mayonnaise.

Roasted Salmon with Lemon Butter

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 serving

Serving Size: 3 inch/7.5 cm. per piece

Roasted Salmon with Lemon Butter

The flavor of the fish shines through this simple recipe, so use the best salmon you can find.


  • 2 lb./ 1 kg. salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup/ 60 kg. Irish butter softened
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C.
  2. With some of the butter, lightly grease a roasting pan
  3. Lay the salmon fillet on the greased pan.
  4. Drizzle the lemon juice over the fish.
  5. Dot with about 2 Tbsp. of butter.
  6. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes (8 to 10 minutes per lb./15 to 20 minutes per kg.)
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Cut into pieces about 3 inches/7.5 cm. wide.


A Reason to Love Lattes

I was unexpectedly free on Wednesday morning because I am locked out of work due to the government shutdown.  On my way to the Green City Market in Chicago’s Lincoln Park,  I stopped for a latte at Elaine’s coffee shop in Hotel Lincoln where I was surprised and excited to see Irish singer-songwriter and Oscar winner Glen Hansard of “Once” fame ahead of me in the line. I celebrated my birthday last June with a picnic at his Millenium Park concert with the Frames. I told him how much I had enjoyed the show and the eerie finale when they played the “Ould Triangle” as the fog  from Lake Michigan enveloped the stage.  He said that it was certainly one of the band’s most memorable shows.  “Once the Musical” opens next week at the Oriental Theater.  Watch videos of songs from Glen Hansard’s new solo album”Rhythm and Repose” at:



Bumping into Glen Hansard reminded me of the lovely Millenium Park picnic I shared with friends last summer. The spread included Irish snacks such as mini sausage rolls (recipe posted here http://40shadesofflavor.com/2013/07/28/mini-irish-sausage-rolls/) and salmon pate with brown bread.  This simple salmon pate recipe is from Darina Allen’s “Simply Delicious” cookbook and RTE television series of the same name.  Since sweet Irish salmon is not available here, I added more lemon juice and salt and pepper to boost the flavor of the pate.

Salmon Pate

Yield: 6 servings


  • 4 oz. cooked salmon without skin and bone
  • 4-6 tbsps. softened Irish butter
  • 1/4 tsp. finely chopped fennel frond
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, crushed
  • salt and white pepper to taste


  1. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or mash together in a bowl. Place the pate in a bowl, decorate the top with fennel fronds. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.


Serve with slices of Irish brown bread, toast or crackers.

This is a good way to use up leftover cooked salmon. Irish butter is higher in fat, more golden in color and richer in flavor than American butter.