Salmon baked at a low temperature until medium-rare delivers a silky texture that tastes special enough to make it a festive centerpiece. This easy dish works any night of the week, since it comes together in less than half an hour. Maple syrup sweetens the glaze, which gets a savory pop from whole mustard seeds in Dijon. Even though salmon is naturally fatty, a dollop of mayonnaise adds extra richness while thickening the glaze to help it seal onto the fish. The herbaceous aroma of cilantro stems baked into the sauce brightens the dish, as do tender leaves scattered on top. Fill out your feast with any combination of steamed rice, roasted potatoes, green beans or salad.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1(1 1/2-pound) skin-on or skinless salmon fillet
- 12fresh cilantro sprigs
- 2tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 1tablespoon mayonnaise
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Step 1Remove salmon from the refrigerator. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Step 2Bundle the cilantro sprigs by their stems and hold them tightly, then slice the stems crosswise until you get to the leaves. Reserve leaves for garnish. Transfer sliced stems to a small bowl and stir in the maple syrup, mustard and mayonnaise until well mixed.
Step 3Season the salmon all over with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish, skin-side down if there is skin. Slather the maple sauce all over the top.
Step 4Bake until a paring knife slides into the center with only a little resistance, 15 to 20 minutes. When you remove the knife and touch the blade to your upper lip, it should feel very warm but not hot. The salmon will continue to heat through out of the oven while in the baking dish. Top with the reserved cilantro leaves, and squeeze lemon wedges all over just before serving.