Slow Roasted Salmon with Caramelized Fennel


I cooked this same dish three times this past week looking a way to perfect it.  It’s a good one and even better if you have the time and  gumption to make your own pasta.  Making your own pasta aside, this recipe is simple and foolproof as long as you have an oven that’s running at an accurate temperature.  This is a great way to enjoy salmon and really have the flavor of the salmon shine forward.  It’s not fishy mind you, it just tastes like salmon with just notes of citrus, fennel and a touch of heat.

Preheat oven to 275 F

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 blood or navel orange, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 Meyer or regular lemon, very thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 red Fresno chile or jalapeño, with seeds, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs dill, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2-lb.  wild Alaskan salmon
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

Toss the fennel and the onion in a skillet over medium heat with some olive oil and caramelize.  This will take about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile you can prep the rest of your ingredients.  Remove pan from heat and let cool.


Drizzle some olive oil on a sheet tray and then toss your salmon in the oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Layer on the chili peppers, slices of citrus and, finally the dill and caramelized fennel and onions.

Roast until the salmon is barely cooked through.  You should check it after 30 minutes.  A knife poked into the flesh should cause it to BARELY flake.  Remember, it’s going to keep cooking after you remove it from the heat so, to get a melt-in-your-mouth tender piece of salmon you’re going to want to pull it just as soon as the flesh starts to pull apart.  The meat will still be very red and appear to be raw but, if it pulls apart, it’s done.

Remove the layers of caramelized fennel and onions, chilis and citurs.  Now you can serve the portions as is by removing them from the sheet tray with a metal spatula.  By slipping the spatula between the skin and flesh, you’ll easily remove the meat.   Garnish with the toppings that you just removed and sprinkle with coarse salt.






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