Side of salmon
This must be one of the simplest recipes for feeding a group. A 1.5kg side of salmon will serve about 8-10 people as a main course if served in slices with side dishes such as buttered jersey bennes and green beans, and probably 12-14 if served broken in chunks, as long as you serve it with something like tabouli, or couscous and vegetables, or perhaps a herb-laden Thai cucumber salad and steamed rice. Make sure there’s a dressing or sauce to match; try dill yoghurt, homemade mayo or salsa verde, and always offer a bowl of lime or lemon wedges. Something to consider: if you’re taking the classic potato and bean route and you’ve always intended to make hollandaise, this is the time.
- Heat oven to 180C.
- Line your largest oven tray with a doubled piece of baking paper. Rub salmon all over with garlic oil, and place skin side down on paper.
- Season salmon with a little salt, scatter with dill sprigs and add lemon wedges too. Bake for 20-25 minutes for mediumrare, or for 30 minutes for medium. Check fish with small knife by testing whether flakes will gently pull apart in thickest section: medium–rare flakes will still look partly transluscent below the surface, but medium cooked fish will be opaque. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes (or allow to cool) before serving. Discard lemons.
- The double layer of baking paper might help you transfer the salmon to a serving platter — just slide paper out from under fish once it’s safely on the platter. When serving, cut down to just above skin, then turn knife and cut fish off skin. To break into large chunks, serve using two large tablespoons.
Salmon cooking times
- Adjust cooking time by around +/–5 minutes per 300g to suit a different weight of the side of salmon.
- Add 5 minutes to cooking time if cooking 2 sides of salmon in one tray.
- For a whole salmon of about 3kg, cooking time will be about 35-45 minutes.