You guyssss SUMMER is finally here!!!! The pool is open, summer swim team and coaching has started, the sun is shining, the tank is clean (the TANK IS CLEAN)…and Finding Dory is coming out! I’m 26, it’s fine. I’ll just take my swim team kids to see Finding Dory so I don’t have to creepily go by myself.
Anyway. Now that summer is here, I’m all about recipes that are BIG on flavor, but have minimal prep/cooking/kitchen time. Because if you spend hours meal prepping in the kitchen, it can get hot AF in there. Nobody wants to be stuck in a hot kitchen when it’s already hot and humid (read: totally gross) outside, right?? Normally, when people think quick and easy summer recipes, the first thing that comes to mind is smoothies. Well, OBVIOUSLY. They’re quick, tasty, cold, and literally all you have to do is throw a bunch of stuff in the blender and BOOM, done. Sure, smoothies are great. Like my Mocha Banana Protein Smoothie. Ahhh-may-zing. But you can’t eat smoothies for every meal, every day of summer. I mean, maybe YOU could. But I sure as hell can’t. Nope, I need some real food, preferably not in liquid form all the time.
Salmon is one of the easiest and tastiest fish to cook, in my humble opinion. And so incredibly versatile too with the flavors it can take on. But the best part about salmon is that it doesn’t even need big flavors to taste great. So my go-to salmon dishes are pretty simple: some citrus, some herbs, salt + pepper + garlic. Throw it in the oven, cook, eat. Devour in all its deliciousness, and getting some good omega-3’s (brain food!) all the while.
Speaking of those simple flavors, you may have noticed I’m pretty big on the Caper Aioli when it comes to salmon. Caper and salmon are just so freaking perfect together! And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, am I right?? But hey. If you’re not a huge capers fan, you can pop literally any spice blend you love on the salmon, cook it this way, and stick with that.
They KEY with baking salmon is to be very careful NOT to overcook it. In a cooking class, a chef told me you want to cook salmon like you do meat – just to medium or medium well, with a tiny bit of pink still in the middle. You’ll know it’s overcooked (and dry) if a bunch of white stuff (it’s called albumin, and is a completely non-gross, harmless protein) comes out. This happens if you cook it for too long, or leave the salmon in the glass dish for too long after it comes out of the oven.
I like to get a giant sized portion of salmon (usually from costco, where it’s cheaper AND they have a wild caught/antibiotic-free salmon!) and double this recipe so I have easy leftovers for the week.
You. so. totally. rock, dude!! Yes, Finding Nemo quote again. And I’m not sorry about it.
- 4, 5-6 oz portions salmon
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp ghee
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 4 sprigs fresh dill
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 Tbsp capers, chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a large glass baking dish with 1 tsp ghee, and lay the pieces of salmon in the dish, leaving a little wiggle room between each piece.
- Season the salmon: Divide the minced garlic among the pieces of salmon and rub it all over the fish. Season each piece with salt and pepper, divide the 1 Tbsp ghee among the pieces of salmon, placing a little dollop in the middle of each piece of fish. Place a sprig of dill and slice of lemon on top of each fish.
- Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and pop it in the oven.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until salmon is cooked almost all the way through and flakes easily with a fork. To prevent it from drying out, make sure it doesn’t bake to the point where lots of white stuff is coming out of the fish (that means it’s overcooked!)
- While the salmon is baking, make your aioli: whisk together the mayonnaise, capers, and lemon juice, and set aside until ready to serve.
- When the salmon is done, top with a dollop of caper aioli, and devour!
What are your favorite, go-to and easy summer recipes?
Like this recipe? Check these out too!
Pan-Fried Salmon Cakes with Caper-Dill Aioli
Smoked Salmon Frittata with Lemon-Caper Aioli
Perfect Roasted Salmon with Ginger-Scallion Sauce
Chesapeake Omelet with Shrimp, Avocado & Bacon
Pesto Shrimp Fettuccine