It has taken me a while, but I now realize that what may seem like a very simple recipe to me might seem very different to someone that doesn’t cook as much as I do. Or what seems like few ingredients to me, may seem like a tediously long list to others. So good news. This slow cooked salmon with lemons, capers and dill may look extra fancy but it takes less than 10 minutes to prep, and about 20 to cook.
Lemons, capers, and dill are a classic combination to use with fish. With their salty acidity, capers and lemons help cut through the fattiness of the salmon, while also freshening up all the flavours. Almost all fish, of course, benefits from the addition of the sharp, clean flavour of dill. Cook the salmon with dill, then scatter it with more chopped dill once cooked. Delicious.
I like to serve the salmon with a side of quick pickled onions and a delicious yogurt sauce that take less time to prepare than a sandwich. The pickled onions and lemon yogurt sauce are certainly optional but they make the salmon a little more special and they really do come together in a flash. If you’d like, you can make them both up to a few days ahead of time.
Why Slow Cook Your Salmon
This recipe is inspired and adapted from Alison Roman’s fantastic Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes cookbook. Slowly roasting salmon is not a revolutionary new method of cooking salmon but she has made it famous, and even tastier, by cooking the salmon in a lot (a lot!) of olive oil (more on that in “tips” below).
Cooking salmon at a higher heat for a shorter amount of time, will cause the proteins to seize up, making the fish dry and chewy. When you cook salmon in a low-temperature oven, it gently melts the fat between the flesh, allowing the fish to retain its moisture and oils, giving it that silky, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
What Is The Best Salmon To Buy
It is the season for wild-caught salmon and it is the only salmon I will buy. You can read more about why I no longer buy farmed salmon here.
Wild-caught sockeye salmon is generally the easiest to find but keep your eyes open for Copper River and if you find it, treat yourself. The flavour and texture is sublime. Recently, I found some beautiful wild-caught sockeye at Costco but most specialty seafood markets will have wild-caught salmon right now. In my area you can also find it here and here.
TIPS FOR THE BEST SLOW COOKED SALMON:
- Slightly undercook your salmon, especially if you have paid a pretty penny for it you do not want to overcook it. I serve my salmon in the same vessel it was cooked in so it always continues to cook a few minutes longer.
- If you have a fishmonger that can skin the salmon for you great, if not just cook it with the skin. The salmon flakes right off the skin, once baked.
- It sounds like this salmon is cooked in way too much olive oil, and it is. I already reduced it by half the amount the original recipe called for. If you feel like you need to use less, go ahead. It might not be as buttery-soft but it will still be very very good. Just make sure you spoon as much olive oil as possible over the top of the salmon.
- If you prefer a different flavour profile than the ones in this recipe, simply switch up the ingredients. Try sliced fennel with cherry tomatoes, or adding other herbs and spices such as parsley and cumin.
Last summer, if I invited you over, you were eating a chicken and chorizo paella. This summer, though my paella has already made a few appearances, it’s all about this easy slow cooked salmon with lemons, capers, and dill. Save the leftovers for lunches the next day because, let me tell you, they make the most fantastic topping on a toasted sesame seed bagel. I really hope you love this salmon as much as I do.
What To Serve With Slow Cooked Salmon
I go crazy for baby potatoes that are boiled in salted water then drizzled with lots of good olive oil, salt and pepper and chopped chives. Quick and easy they are perfect alongside this salmon. Go one step further and make these or these smashed crispy potatoes for an even more impressive and delicious side.
If you are making this dish during corn season, I can’t imagine anything more yummy than some grilled cobs with a simple drizzle of flaky salt. Lordy.
An heirloom tomato salad almost always makes an appearance when I make this slow cooked salmon. If I’m entertaining I will add buffalo mozzarella to make a caprese salad. So good.
Other Salmon Recipes You Might Enjoy:
Slow Cooked Salmon with Lemons, Capers, and Dill
- 1 1 1/2 pound piece of skinless salmon fillet (skin-on is fine*)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 lemons thinly sliced, plus a few wedges to serve
- 1/4 cup capers
- 4 sprigs dill rosemary, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Flaky sea salt to finish
For the Quick Pickled Onions:
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 small red onion finely sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Lemon Yogurt Sauce:
- 1 cup full fat plain yogurt or greek plain yogurt
- 6 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove finely grated (I use a microplane)
- pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
- For the pickled onions: Put the vinegar and sugar in a small non-reactive bowl and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Add the water, onion, salt and pepper, and set aside until ready to serve.
- For the Lemon yogurt sauce: In a small bowl mix the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and place in fridge until ready to serve.
- Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place in a large baking dish and top with lemon slices.
- Sprinkle the salmon with the capers and chopped dill and drizzle everything with olive oil.
- Bake salmon for 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. Remove it from the oven when it is just turning opaque around the edges and is nearly cooked through. Do not overcook.
- Garnish with more dill and a sprinkle of flaky salt.
- Serve lemon yogurt sauce, lemon wedges, and pickled onions alongside salmon.