The idea for serving fish at a holiday meal was inspired by the Italian -American tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. If you go to several family celebrations as we do, this oven-roasted salmon served with a merry and bright lemon vinaigrette offers a nice break from roast beef and ham.
Step 1: Make the vinaigrette
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Whisk first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Slowly add the olive oil to the lemon mixture while whisking the vinaigrette. Set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the potatoes
2 pounds yellow potatoes, small to medium sized, quartered
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir gently with a spatula or wooden spoon until the potatoes and leeks are evenly coated with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
2. Set bowl aside until fish is prepared.
Step 3: Prepare the salmon
2 to 3 pound piece of whole salmon, spine removed and butterflied (see note)
5 sprigs of parsley
2 lemons, thinly sliced
freshly ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper that is longer than the salmon on the kitchen counter. Remove salmon from packaging and rinse with cold water in the sink. Put salmon on the paper and dry inside and out with paper towels.
3. Open salmon up and sprinkle inside with salt and pepper. Arrange lemon slices and parsley evenly inside salmon. Drizzle with olive oil. Close salmon and set aside.
Step 4: Roast Potatoes and Salmon
1. Arrange potato and leeks on a large sheet pan covered with parchment paper, leaving room in the middle to place the fish. Roast potatoes in preheated oven (without the fish on the pan) for 15 minutes.
2. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a heatproof surface. Carefully place the salmon in the middle of the pan, surrounded by the potatoes and leeks. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over the salmon and potatoes
3. Put the pan back in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked through and potatoes and leeks are crispy. (This method worked in our kitchen, but everyone has a different oven, so it's a good idea to start checking the salmon after 20 minutes of roasting. You want to avoid overcooking the salmon and undercooking the potatoes, so it's OK to take the salmon out and put it on the serving platter, covered with foil, and let the potatoes cook a few minutes longer.)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour, 10 minutes
Serves 6 generously