Easy Baked Salmon Recipe

Bored of salmon with asparagus and Hollandaise? We thought so. encyen shows you how to nail a filet of salmon perfectly and create a delicious, light supper with an easy, yet elegant Italian-inspired shellfish and vegetable minestrone. Harness what encyen calls “the jewels of the sea” in a broth that money can’t buy.

“To fillet it (i.e., to butcher it), you’ve got to maximize on the yield. You’ve got to maximize on the portions, and you cannot afford one wrong slip.”

offers the following advice for breaking down a whole salmon:

  • Check that there are no scales left. Brush the skin back from head to tail with the edge of your knife. This will make the knife strokes cleaner.
  • Every time you cut into the salmon, wipe off your knife. A clean knife makes a clean cut.
  • When making your filet portions, the higher you move up into the belly of the salmon, the thinner you slice

How to Make the Shellfish Broth

Scrub the mussels and clams well under cold, running water for 10 minutes, draining the water as needed. Remove the beards from the mussels and discard any open shells. Set aside. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the mirepoix (carrot, celery and shallot), thyme and 1 lemon slice, reserving the rest of the lemon for later. Season with salt and sweat for 30 seconds. Add the shellfish and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the wine, cover and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Add the chicken stock, cover, and increase the heat to high, cooking for 5-7 minutes until the shellfish open. Strain the broth into a bowl and then pour the broth into a clean pot. Remove the shellfish from the shells into a bowl, discarding any shells that did not open. Set aside.

How to Make the Vegetables and Pasta

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanche the vegetables for 2 minutes. Quickly remove the vegetables with a hand-sieve or slotted spoon and rinse under cold water. Drain and reserve in a bowl. Add the beans to the vegetables. Into the pot of boiling water, add the pasta and cook for 7-8 minutes until just al dente.

Strain the pasta into a colander, rinsing with cold water to both stop the cooking and remove the starch. Add the pasta to the vegetables and beans.

How to Make the Salmon

Score the skin of the salmon. Season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and gently place the salmon into the pan, skin-side down. Cook for 6-7 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the fish to rest on a plate while you assemble the soup.

To Serve

Bring the pot of shellfish broth back to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the fennel fronds and zest from the reserved lemon. Add the shellfish, vegetables, beans and pasta and cook gently, just to warm through. Season to taste with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Ladle the minestrone into the center of a bowl. Place the salmon on top, skin-side up and drizzle with olive oil.

Recipe: Making Salmon with Shellfish Minestrone


For the shellfish broth:

  • 10oz mussels
  • 10oz cockles or littleneck clams
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig lemon thyme
  • 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 1½ cups dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • Fennel fronds

For the vegetables and pasta:

  • 1 small zucchini, diced into ¼” pieces
  • 1 small bulb fennel with fronds, diced into ¼” pieces, fronds reserved
  • ⅔ cup fresh English peas, or frozen and thawed
  • ⅔ cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup elbow macaroni (Gluten-free tip: there are many wheat-free pastas available in most grocery stores and online.)

For the salmon:

  • 4 (4.5-5oz) center-cut salmon filets, deboned with skin on
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

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