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The Essential Roasted Salmon Recipe

Blueprint, 2008

This healthy fish dish is your anytime ally: It looks and tastes great, and it couldn't be faster or easier to prepare. You can serve it for a weeknight dinner or a weekend get-together in almost less time then it takes to set the table.

A whole-salmon fillet has the same festive quality as roast beef or leg of lamb, and its a dish all your guests, including non-meat-eaters, will ooh and aah over." -- Allie Lewis Clapp, Deputy Food Editor

Essential Recipe
A salad is all you need to accompany this light-yet- hearty entree. Lay out the fish buffet-style -- warm or at room temperature.
Herb-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Lemons

Make it Faster
Roasted Salmon with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
For a super-quick after-work meal, use smaller pieces of fish. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season 4 salmon fillets (6 to 8 ounces each) with salt and pepper. Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet until fish flakes easily, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4
cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup fresh herbs, and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard. Blend until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over salmon. Serves 4.

Make it Fancier
Although it's not difficult to prepare, this complicated-looking dish will up you chef cred.
Herbed Salmon Roulades with Lemon Beurre Blanc

Allie's Product Picks
Big Spatula
"A sturdy spatula with a large surface helps transfer the delicate fish to a serving platter" (Victorinox 4-by-8-inch turner, swissarmy.com).

Tweezers
"Run your finger against the fillet's grain; if you feel any bones, pluck them out" (Messermeister culinary tweezers, Broadway Panhandler, 800-266-5927).

Sea Salt
"A coarse salt with a nice briny flavor" (Le Saunier Fleur de Sol de Camargue sea salt, amazon.com).

Wild King Salmon
"This sustainable fishery flash-freezes its daily catch. Overnight shipping is available" (3 pound salmon filet, wildoceanseafoods.com).