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Slow-Roasted Salmon with French Herb Salsa

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slow roasted salmon

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This slow-roasted salmon with an elegant fresh herb salsa is wonderful at room temperature, making it perfect for a holiday brunch or buffet.

how to make slow roasted salmon

This slow-roasted salmon recipe comes from the much-acclaimed cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat. Samin is also the host and producer of the wonderful Netflix cooking/travel docuseries, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, based on her book. She writes that slow-roasting is her favorite way to cook salmon because the low heat makes it almost impossible to overcook the fish. Indeed, the heat is so gentle that the fish still appears slightly translucent even when fully cooked.

Like with many of her recipes, Samin gives a general technique for cooking the salmon and then suggests variations and an array of sauces that work with it. I chose to pair the salmon with an elegant French herb salsa made with macerated shallots and fine herbs. While the dish can be served hot or cold, I think it’s best at room temperature as an alternative to poached salmon. It’s perfect for a holiday brunch or buffet.

What you’ll need To Make Slow-Roasted Salmon

how to make slow roasted salmon

How To Make Slow-Roasted Salmon

To begin, place the salmon on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle the salt evenly over top.

how to make slow roasted salmon

Slide the pan into the oven, which has been preheated to 225°F, and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until the fish begins to flake in the thickest part of the filet when poked with a knife or your finger. (Because this method is so gentle on its proteins, the fish will appear translucent even when it’s cooked.) Don’t worry if any white coagulated proteins form on the fish; just scrape them off with a spoon.

how to make slow roasted salmon

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the shallot and vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes to macerate.

how to make slow roasted salmon

In a separate small bowl, combine the herbs, olive oil, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.

how to make slow roasted salmon

Just before serving, use a slotted spoon to add the shallot (but not the vinegar, yet) to the herb oil.

how to make slow roasted salmon

Stir, taste, and add the vinegar as needed (I usually add 2 to 3 teaspoons). Taste and adjust salt, if necessary.

how to make slow roasted salmon

Break the salmon into large, rustic pieces and spoon the French herb salsa over top.

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Slow-Roasted Salmon with French Herb Salsa

This slow-roasted salmon with an elegant fresh herb salsa is wonderful at room temperature, making it perfect for a holiday brunch or buffet.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

For the Salmon

  • One (2-lb) salmon filet, pin bones and skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

For the French Herb Salsa

  • 3 tablespoons finely diced shallot, from 1 medium shallot
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh chervil (okay to substitute more parsley if you can't find it)
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

For the Salmon

  1. Preheat the oven to 225°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Place the salmon on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle the salt evenly over top. Slide the pan into the oven and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until the fish begins to flake in the thickest part of the filet when poked with a knife or your finger. (Because this method is so gentle on its proteins, the fish will appear translucent even when it's cooked.) Using a small spoon, scrape off any white coagulated proteins that may have formed on the salmon.
  3. Break the salmon into large, rustic pieces and spoon the French herb salsa (below) over top. This dish can be served hot, cold, or room temperature.

For the French Herb Salsa

  1. In a small bowl, combine the shallot and vinegar and let sit for 15 minutes to macerate.
  2. In a separate small bowl, combine the herbs, olive oil, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Just before serving, use a slotted spoon to add the shallot (but not the vinegar, yet) to the herb oil. Stir, taste, and add the vinegar as needed (I usually add 2 to 3 teaspoons). Taste and adjust salt, if necessary.
  4. Make-Ahead Instructions: The salmon can be cooked 1 day ahead of time, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated. The French herb salsa can be made, covered, and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead of time.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 439
  • Fat: 34 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Sodium: 405 mg
  • Cholesterol: 83 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Hi Jenn, we LOVE this recipe! I’ve made several of your recipes and they are all wonderful! Thank you for all the attention to detail, tips and explanations. I find that really helpful. 🙂

    My question is how long should I bake a smaller salmon filet? I’m usually cooking one that’s about a pound and a quarter. The first time I didn’t reduce the baking time (45 minutes); it was delicious but completely opaque and a little dry. The salsa helped with that though. The second time I only cooked it for 35 minutes and it was still opaque. Is there a formula to figure out the timing when you’re cooking less than the recipe calls for? Also, I’m cooking two salmon filets on Easter Sunday…do I need to increase the time? Probably a silly question but I’m new at this!

    • — Renee on March 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Renee, Glad you like the recipes and those aren’t silly questions at all! A smaller salmon fillet shouldn’t necessarily take less time as it really depends on the thickness of the fillet. That said, if you’ve found that it was more cooked through than you’d like at 35 minutes, I’ll check it at 30 this time. You mentioned you were cooking two fillets next time around — I’d still check them at 30 minutes To ensure that you don’t overcook them. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on March 26, 2021
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much, Jenn! I appreciate your advice and will check at 30 minutes this time. 🙂

        • — Renee on March 27, 2021
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I combine all the ingredients for the herb salsa ahead of time? Recipe says it can be made ahead but also says to not add shallot mixture until serving time. Also, is it possible to reheat salmon a bit if I want to make it ahead but don’t want to serve it cold? Thanks so much! Looking forward to this one!

    • — Adrienne on February 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Yes, you can make the salsa ahead (and include the shallots). And I really like this at room temperature, but if you’d prefer it warm, I’d reheat it in a 325-degree oven until it reaches your desired temperature. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Such an easy & delicious way to make salmon, especially for company.
    I think the hardest part was chopping all the herbs! The only change I made was to add a splash of lemon juice to the herb salsa.
    And the leftovers were so yummy two days later, too!
    Thank you, again, for another tasty recipe that makes us mere mortals seem like trained chefs!

    • — Patti B on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • This Salmon recipe is simply elegant, easy and perfectly done. I loved that I could put the fish in the oven for 45 minutes and not have to wonder if it was getting over done. During the baking time I got the salad and bread ready as well as the french herb topping. All within an hour I have a company worthy dinner ready. The first time I made it for friends the other cooks at the table wanted the recipe. I served it hot out of the oven and will keep making this for years. Oh …and the KETO friends in the group really loved that it is only 1 carb per serving!

    • — LuAnn Pitts on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
  • We live in the Pacific NthWest and Salmon is almost a staple for us. I’ve prepared it many different ways, but this recipe is the absolute all time favorite. Delicious, moist – even if using a frozen fillet. Fresh herbs are a must…. THANK YOU for this wonderful recipe. It is definitely my go-to prep for not only company, but for us as well.

    And – the marinade is great for chicken as well. 10++++ from us.

    • — Alida Little on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • My kids go crazy for this recipe. We love it so much that we made it our Christmas Eve dinner this past year. I cut one tbsp oil from the dressing, but otherwise followed the recipe, serving it with couscous and steamed green beans. So easy and delicious!

    • — Agnes on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This salmon is delicious!! It always turns out!!! My seven year old granddaughter even liked it… she was surprised.
    I cook my salmon like this all the time even if I don’t use the herb sauce, it always is done, but not over done! Thanks for this keeper!

    • — Mary Huffmire on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is easily one of the most elegant and delicious at-home recipes I’ve ever made. I paired with the asparagus and egg salad, and my husband said it was the best salmon he’s ever had.

    • — Anna on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have the Salt, Fat, Acid Heat cookbook with the master recipe. I prefer the way Jennifer writes her recipes with clear, step-by-step instructions, helping this recipe turn out perfect every time. I’ve served this warm out of the oven and room temperature — both are delicious.

    • — Erin G on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
    • Totally agree Erin. Hot, room temp or cold is delicious! Our fav for sure.

      • — Alida Little on January 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this for the fourth time for dinner last night. It’s soooo good! The herb salsa is the perfect compliment to the buttery salmon. I usually pick up a big fresh piece of salmon when I go to Costco and it’s just the right size for my family of four with lunch leftovers the next day.

    • — EastOutWest27 on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This French Herb Salsa is absolutely amazing! My husband and I are not fans of salmon, so I make this with halibut or cod and use the salsa on top – a bit labor intensive with all the chopping of herbs, but it totally worth it. Delicious!

    • — Naomi on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Love this recipe, so easy and always turns out great. Since I have trouble judging when fish is done I use a remote thermometer and set it for 125 and it always turns out perfect.

    • — Fred M on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is an amazing, wonderful, easy recipe! I have made it many times and it is my go-to salmon recipe.

    • — Samantha Pleasant on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • My family now exclusively cooks salmon low and slow as recommended in this recipe. The fish comes out so tender. The herb salsa is fresh and delightful. But sometimes if I’m feeling lazy, I make the salmon simple with salt and pepper for a quick weeknight dinner. Great recipe for a simple family meal or a large group.

    • — JoAnn on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen, I could only find a 1.25 lb salmon wild caught. Can you please tell me how the time will vary? Thank you so much.

    • — stacey akdemir on January 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Stacey, the timing really should be about the same (the cooking time is based more on the thickness of the fish). I’d check it at 40 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • What starch would you put with this? Would your potatoes au gratin be too rich? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    • — Paulette on December 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Paulette, I think potatoes au gratin would work nicely here. You could also consider crusty artisan bread like this. Hope you enjoy whatever you make!

      • — Jenn on December 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I am not a fan of shallots. Can I substitute with garlic instead?

    • — Alla on December 3, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Alla, I’m concerned that the sauce would be way too garlicky with the amount required. Feel free to substitute red, yellow, or sweet onion in place of the shallot though. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 4, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jennifer,
    I feel badly I have never reviewed your recipes! I have made this salmon so many times as printed as well as adjusting to what I have on hand (bbq seasoning with a finishing drizzle of bbq sauce). As printed with the verde sauce is outstanding. It is so delicious I chose to make it as well as your bbq short ribs and cauliflower purée for a sit down dinner fundraiser. Everyone wanted to know who the caterer was! It was me with your help. Thank you for being my go to for inspiration.

    • — Jeanne Hoeft on December 3, 2020
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on December 3, 2020
      • Reply
  • Did you mean temperature 105 – that looks like a mistake – did you mean 150 Celsius fan oven ?
    I am just about to put it in the oven
    Thanks

    • Hi Louise, 105 is actually correct — it’s supposed to be roasted at a low temperature. Hope you enjoy!

  • I LOVE this recipe – I’ve made it several times. It was part of our Christmas Eve dinner last year for our pescatarian! It’s a great make ahead for a gathering and it travels well also – I’ve brought it as a meal to a sick friend. I’ve never been able to find fresh chervil but it doesn’t seem to matter. I’ve sometimes had trouble finding tarragon but dried has worked when all the others are fresh. And I’ve used different kinds of vinegar with good results – champagne citrus, rice vinegar. It’s a yummy keeper of a recipe!

  • I used this recipe for my family dinner. It will definitely be my go-to for salmon in the future. I added garlic to the marinade for a little extra punch. Utterly delicious, super easy and stress free, delicious, moist flavor. Thank you!

  • Hi Jenn, looking at this recipe last minute for dinner and wondering if dried herbs can be used in the salsa? Looks delicious!

    • I don’t recommend it here, Anna — sorry!

  • Hi Jenn,
    I just wanted you to know that I added 1 T of chopped dill to the basil, parsley and tarragon, and it was delicious. My mother-in-law LOVED it. I made it all the day before, then warmed it some and assembled it at her house the next day. Thanks for your help, and for such a great recipe. I can’t wait to make it again 🙂

    • — Mary Jean Williams
    • Reply
    • So glad it was a hit! 🙂

  • Hi Jenn,
    I’m planning to make this for my mother-in-law’s 96th birthday this weekend. She loves salmon and loves dill. Do you think I can either substitute dill completely for the other herbs, or add some to the other mix of herbs? If some, what amount would you use, and would you still use the other herbs, or do any fight with the dill?
    Thanks,
    Mary Jean

    • — Mary Jean and John Williams
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary Jean, Wow — 96!! I think it is fine to add dill to the mix here. Not sure that I would swap out all the other herbs for it but you could easily add a tablespoon or two to the other herbs. Hope your mother-in-law enjoys!

  • So good. Can’t wait to make it again. The herb salsa would be great on anything

  • I just made it for my birthday dinner party. At first, I was concerned it would not have enough flavor since salmon was seasoned only with S&P. I was soooo wrong! It was so flavored with herbs! Very simple but so incredibly delicious! Of course I couldn’t buy chevril or tarragon. Added a little bit of lemon zest for flavor. Best dish of the evening!

  • I plan to make this for back to school brunch but want to make 1 day ahead. What are your recommendations for reheating or would you just serve it cold? I really love this (and all) your recipes! I was going to pair with your spinach quiche and beet salad plus fruit. Think that is good pairing or can you recommend anything else to pair with? Thanks!

    • Hi Jennifer, I would serve it cold or room temperature (I think it’s actually best that way). And the pairings that you suggested sound perfect – – hope everyone enjoys!

      • Thanks!!!!

  • This was a good one! Not quite sure how much vinegar to add at the end, but that depends on taste. Maybe substitute lemon/lime for the vinegar, although I didn’t do that. Thanks: I’m impressed and am going to follow this site. And yes, Samin totally rocks.

  • With restaurants closed I decided to make myself a restaurant quality meal. This salmon did the job. It was incredibly moist, tender and flavorful. The herb salsa brought it to a whole other level. I have found that every one of your recipes makes me feel special. You can really feel the love in your cooking. Thank you Jenn!

    • So glad you enjoyed it! ❤️

  • This is fantastic! I’ve been wanting to try slow-roasted salmon for a while and this recipe was a great place to start! I like my fish to be 145 degrees in the center, so I did roast it about 20 minutes longer than the recipe states, but it was still succulent. The herb salsa is a must because it elevates the salmon to the next level. We’ve eaten this for dinner three times in the past week.

  • I’m going to make this with just 8 ounces of salmon. Should I adjust the cooking time?

    • Hi Peggy, Yes, it will likely take much less time. I’d start checking around 15 minutes, but it may take longer.

  • Can you use frozen salmon fillets?

    • Sure, Danielle (just be sure to defrost them first). 🙂

  • Just made this tonight and it’s absolutely delicious! So fresh and light yet complex. I think I may always slow roast salmon from now on! I added the slightest touch of honey because I like things with a little sweetness but wouldn’t change a thing! I wanted to post my picture but can’t figure out how….

    • So glad you enjoyed this! Unfortuntely, the blog isn’t set up to receive pictures. If you’re on instagram, you can share it there; be sure to tag me @onceuponachef! 🙂

  • Excellent! This is the kind of meal I think of when folks say “cuisine at home”. This is easily prepared and fit for guests. Used the herbs from my garden and lemon zest along with lemon olive oil. Perfect!

  • Could I use another fish? Such as mahi mahi, which I happen to have on hand.
    Thanks!
    Julia

    • — Julia Eberwein
    • Reply
    • Sure, Julia – that’s fine. Enjoy 🙂

  • Oh my gosh, I love, love, love this dish! The first time I made it my husband said, “It’s not cooked.” I told him to give it a try and he was hooked! I’ve made it twice since then.

    I am going to make it for an Easter brunch. Since grocery stores are hit and miss with fresh herbs during this pandemic, is it possible to make the salsa in advance while I can get the ingredients and freeze it? Or, how long can I keep in the refrigerator?

    • So glad you like this! The salsa can be refrigerated for about two days. For longer storage, I suppose you could freeze it although I’ve never tried it. I did poke around online though, and based on what I read, I think it would be safe to freeze. Hope that helps!

      • To update: I did freeze the salsa with the vinegar added and it was just as delicious when thawed. I have also frozen the chopped chives and tarragon separately. This is one of my favorite recipes.

        • So glad it worked out — thanks for reporting back! 🙂

  • I was wondering if I could sprinkle Old Bay on the fish before cooking?

    • — Anne MacGregor
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, It will obviously add a bit of a different flavor, but sure! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

  • Made this with 1 pound of wild haddock (2 fillets) and slow-roasted them for 25 minutes. Also doubled the amount of salsa as suggested by many and quadrupled the amount of tarragon due to no chervil.
    What a wonderful way to make fish and the salsa is so delicious 😋

  • I made this last night, and I think that I appreciate the most, the cooking method for the salmon. The kitchen did NOT smell of fish, and it seems almost impossible to wind up with dry salmon, given the time instructions. I had slightly less than 1 lb. of fish, and baked for about 45 minutes.

    I served it with mashed potatoes and edamame. A classic pairing, no? OK, maybe not. Good, though.

    Of course, I could not find chervil. Wrong time of year, and I doubt if I could acquire it anyway.
    Do you think that combining it with tarragon, basil, and vinegar would result in being able to taste it, at all? From what I’ve read, it’s flavor is rather delicate.

    Thanks for the recipe, and I will make it again.

    Joe

  • i have made this before and it’s sensational. i am making it tonight for 10 people and have a 4.25lb side of salmon. if i cook this before guests come, would i add the salsa right serving? and how long for that size salmon – and would you use a convection setting? it can sit out cooked for at least an hour right? – thanks jenn

    • Glad you like this Gillian! Yes, it’s fine to sit out for at least an hour and I’d add the salsa right before serving. And the bake time should be about the same for the larger piece of salmon (assuming it’s not overly thick). If you plan to use the convection setting, I’d reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • This is another absolute perfect Once Upon a Chef recipe! Super easy, flexible (herb sauce) and everyone raved at how good this was.

    But Jenn .. I do have a question for you. Have you ever made this with Wild Alaska Salmon? To say I struggle to keep wild salmon moist is an understatement. With Sockeye, typical wild salmon available, it is quite thin and lean. Any thoughts on how to apply this method to wild salmon?

    Thanks!

    Valerie

    • — Valerie McBrien
    • Reply
    • Hi Valerie, Glad you like the dish! I’ve never made this with wild Alaskan salmon, but I suspect that you’d just need to reduce the cooking time a bit.

  • Very good!! This dish was perfect for the holidays after having over indulged with turkey etc. Bought the salmon at Costco. Served with herb roasted potatoes (from book) and green beans. Was grateful that you mentioned the fish will appear translucent or I might have been tempted to over cook. Another elegant dish for the holidays:) Think I will try next time with with the Arugula and Manchego cheese salad, it’s awesome!

  • I made this for two different groups over the holidays and they loved it! Serving it at room temperature makes it so much easier to work on the rest of the meal.

  • Hi Jenn,

    I’ve made this several times and my guests have about it. I’ve the recipe several times with family and friends. So easy and so good!

  • If the salmon is only 1 pound instead of two, would this shorten the cooking time? I would like to make this for my guest but cannot use two pounds! Thanks, Jen, and Happy New Year!
    Betsy_19083@yahoo.com

    • Actually, the cook time should be about the same. Hope you enjoy (and happy new year)!

  • Hi Jen – If I make this in advance should I just let it sit on the counter to get it to room temp for serving or should I pop it in the oven for a bit .

    • Hi Joyce, This dish can be served hot, cold, or room temperature so it totally depends on your preference. I happen to like it room temperature. Hope you enjoy!

  • Absolutely gorgeous, I serve it with a French herbed potato salad and asparagus – so-so good! Our butcher goes to the Billingsgate market Friday morning and we have him pick up a nice whole side. Any leftovers I put into a lovely fettuccine Alfredo Thank you so much Jenn for this recipe!

  • Not a fan of onion or shallots. Any suggestions? Also will this work with halibut?

    • Hi Sharon, you could just omit the shallots or, if you don’t mind scallions or chives, you could use them. And I do think this would work with halibut. Hope that helps!

  • Soooo good! The French salsa reminds me of a chimichurri sauce I had in Charleston. I’ve never used this method for cooking salmon but it was so incredibly easy and came out perfectly. Thank you:)

  • Superb! I made it for a party. It was easy and loved the fact that you can serve it at room temperature, perfect to make ahead.

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