There are some nights when you just want something quiet and homey for dinner. Nothing fancy or particularly elaborate, and nothing that requires your constant presence in the kitchen. Tonight is the night. Easy does it, and turns out easy it perfectly acceptable on a Friday night after a busy week.
This dinner makes me especially pleased because I got to use up the boring things, you know, those things that typically get elbowed towards the back of the fridge and you discover them weeks later only to toss them in the compost bin. This mainly happens because those things are bland and require some work to make them more interesting. I am talking, Romaine lettuce, I am talking a few leftover potatoes that are too many for the soup, and too few for the mashing. Tonight is the night. They all found their way to our table. Happy, happy, happy.
So the basic premise of a simple baked salmon is, of course, having a good slab of salmon. You know, the wild caught one. Enter your basic seasonings, such as salt and crushed or coarsely ground black pepper, a bit of olive oil. Then it’s time to dive into the fridge (closer to the back wall) and dig out anything that may enhance the experience without overpowering.
Found: slightly dried out grape tomatoes, still perfectly tasty. Small onion. Leftover cilantro bunch. A few small red potatoes. We are in business!
Five minute no-sweat prep, two sheets of foil, and you are set. Now you have forty-five minutes to do whatever pleases you on a Friday night. And if you are happy to do nothing at all, well, I don’t blame you. Because it’s just one of those nights…
Simple Baked Salmon Dinner
- 1-1/2 to 2 lbs slab of salmon, rinsed, patted dry
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 cup of ripe grape tomatoes
- 6 smallish medium red potatoes, rinsed and halved
- olive oil, salt, pepper
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- small bunch of cilantro, basil or dill, coarsely chopped
- 2 sheets of foil
Line a baking tray with foil. Drizzle some oil on the bottom, sprinkle salt and pepper all over the foil.
Pat dry the salmon and lay it into the baking tray skin down. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Arrange sliced onions separated into rings on top of the salmon. Arrange potato halves around the salmon, cut side down. Sprinkle grape tomatoes around, closer to salmon.
Season again with pepper and salt all over potatoes and onions. Drizzle a bit more oil over everything. Drizzle the lemon juice.
Sprinkle herbs. Cover with the second sheet of foil and bake at 375F for 40 minutes. Remove the upper foil sheet and bake for another 5 minutes.
Serve with leafy crunchy cold salad.