Salmon is a favorite for so many reasons—not only is it loaded with good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids, but its buttery flavor and texture make it ideal for a number of diverse preparations. From cedar plank barbecue to gentle poaching, it’s a perfect protein for any occasion. Read on to discover your technique of choice for preparing farmed Chilean salmon with a seasonal, summertime twist.
For moist, flaky salmon that requires little more effort than preheating an oven, consider roasting. The method is foolproof, and the short cook time means that the kitchen won’t be hot for long.
How to enjoy it: Rub farmed salmon with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on a roasting pan at 400ºF until the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes, depending on thickness. Eat it right away or refrigerate for later. Flake warm or cold fish for a Niçoise-style salad with mixed greens, hard-cooked eggs, assorted boiled vegetables, olives, and a mustardy vinaigrette.
This easy, inexpensive alternative to smoked salmon requires nothing but your fridge to pull off, and the results are downright luxurious. Using buttery farm-raised salmon results in an especially luscious texture.
How to enjoy it: Dust a fillet in salt, a bit of sugar, and seasoning, such as powdered ginger or dill and white pepper. Wrap it in plastic, then place it in a dish and refrigerate for one day, turning occasionally. When it’s ready, rinse off the seasoning under cold water, pat dry with paper towels, slice thin, and there you have it: Silky homemade cured salmon, also known as gravlax, perfect for lunch or brunch. Serve as part of a bagel board or on a Danish-style open-faced sandwich, piled high on rye bread with sliced avocado, capers, and slivers of red onion, with a squeeze of lemon.
This set-it-and-forget-it style of gentle underwater cooking may sound like it’s for professional chefs only. In fact, with some special equipment, it’s simple to pull off at home and will deliver consistent, perfectly cooked results every time.
How to enjoy it: For medium-cooked salmon, preheat a water bath to 145ºF, vacuum-seal your farmed salmon (or place it in a zipper bag with air removed), and cook for about 15 minutes, or to desired doneness. This sumptuous method of preparation pairs beautifully with a creamy dill sauce, a crisp cucumber salad, boiled new potatoes, and a glass of rosé.
Poaching is a gentle way to prepare your salmon dish. Simmer the fish at 190ºF submerged in shallow water infused with aromatics, such as sliced scallion, lemon (or lime), and peppercorns, until it’s just cooked through, then refrigerate.
How to enjoy it: Poached salmon is excellent served cold, which makes it perfect as a nutritious, make-ahead option on a hot day. Plate a piece of poached farmed salmon with a fresh summer salsa or flavored hummus along with dressed salad greens for an easy lunch or dinner.
Cedar Plank Grilling
Get out your cedar plank for a show-stopping whole grilled salmon. The wood infuses the farmed salmon with smoky flavor for a true taste of summer, and it’s a fine way to feed a crowd.
How to enjoy it: Soak a cedar plank in cold water for one hour. Meanwhile, marinate the salmon for about 30 minutes in a light vinaigrette before grilling to seal in the flavorful juices, or coat with a dry rub. Place the fish skin side down on the cedar plank and grill over medium heat until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Treat it as a healthy barbecue alternative, and serve with Yukon Gold potato salad and fresh carrot-and-radish slaw.
Cooking in Parchment or Foil Packets
This elegant yet easy method for cooking salmon en papillote, as it’s called in French, locks in moisture, imparts fish with subtle flavor, and—bonus—requires minimal prep and cleanup.
How to enjoy it: Fold envelopes of parchment or foil around a farmed salmon fillet, along with your favorite herbs, olive oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Seal, and bake at 325ºF to desired doneness. All you need is a seasonal vegetable, such as steamed green beans or a ripe tomato salad, and a nutritious starch, like rice with quinoa or couscous, to make it dinner.