Meet my new favorite weeknight meal. You only need 5 ingredients and 15 minutes to get this on the table, so basically it’s Wednesday night’s best friend. In the past month, I’ve made this salmon three times, and not just because I had extra rosemary from my bread-making pursuits. Seriously, it’s amazing what just a couple ingredients can do when they’re all baked together into a fabulously savory, simple dish.
Salmon has always been one of my favorite types of fish. It’s relatively mild, and not terribly fishy smelling, which is particularly important for us apartment dwellers. It also keeps pretty well as leftovers – I like to eat leftover salmon on a salad for lunch the next day (it’s even delicious cold!). Despite my love for salmon, it had been a while since I had actually made any for dinner. When my sister was visiting, we cooked ourselves a fabulous snow-day dinner complete with salmon, our mom’s cucumber yogurt sauce, and of course, our rosemary bread. That dinner re-ignited my love for salmon, and now I can’t stop making it!
The hardest part of this dish for me was learning how to cook salmon so that it’s not over-done. It was (and still is) a trial and error process for me, but I find the best bet is to keep an eye on the fish after 10 minutes, and just check it with a fork to see if the fish flakes apart. If not, pop in back in for another 2 minutes, and then check it again. Cook time will primarily depend on the thickness of your fish, so it might change a little each time you make this!
The sauce is super simple. The spicy dijon mustard mellows out when combined with olive oil and baked in the oven so that mustard isn’t the prominent flavor (so don’t worry if you’re not a huge mustard fan). Instead the sauce turns into a deeply savory, herby mixture that feels far more complex than the 5 ingredients you whisked together to make it.
My typical pairings for this dish include rice pilaf, farro, or baked sweet potato wedges and roasted broccoli (I cannot recommend this addictive broccoli enough) or asparagus. In fact, the last time I made this, I turned it into a full sheet-pan dinner. First, I tossed some broccoli florets in olive oil, lemon juice & garlic and popped them in the oven for 15 minutes. Then, add your salmon to the sheet pan, slather it in the dijon rosemary sauce, cook everything for another 15 minutes, and dinner is ready! See? We can do this.
Feel free to adjust the salmon to the amount you need without needing to go crazy calculating the change in sauce along with it – the amount of sauce is pretty forgiving! Also, you could use fresh thyme instead of dried, but I wouldn’t sub out the fresh rosemary for dried – fresh rosemary gives it so much flavor!
Rosemary Dijon Baked Salmon
Time: 15-20 minutes
1 pound fresh salmon
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or a little over 1 tsp fresh)
Preheat oven to 450°F and cover a baking sheet with foil.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, mustard, and spices until mixed together into a thick paste. Spread onto salmon and bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know the salmon is done when it flakes easily apart and looks opaque. Baking time will depend primarily on the thickness of your salmon. Start checking at 10 minutes, and pop it back in for 2-3 minute intervals until it’s cooked how you like it (mine took the full 15 minutes).