This is one of my most spectacular looking dishes my guests always wonder at. One that I like to make for just the two of us as well because it’s simple and so tasty. This Mediterranean salmon recipe is an easy sheet-pan meal that requires no cooking skills at all, other than slicing a few things, turning the oven on and letting it do its thing.
Sheet-pan recipes are my favorites. They require minimal attention and minimal clean-up, especially if you line your sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. The best pans I have found so far are Nordic Ware Aluminum Commercial, but if you have a restaurant supply store near you, you will find some cheap ones there.
This Mediterranean salmon recipe is full of flavors and staples of the Mediterranean region: onion, garlic, tomatoes, lemon, olives, capers, herbs, and of course olive oil. Granted, salmon is not a fish from the Mediterranean sea, but as you probably know by now if you follow my blog or follow me on Facebook, Mediterranean Diet does not mean Mediterranean cuisine. Salmon is a fatty fish loaded with Omega-3’s that are good for you, so we embrace it full-heartedly!
A few tips
- I like to load up the tray with lots of tomatoes. They create a nice juicy accompaniment for the salmon. They also keep it nice and moist while it’s cooking. A mix of colored cherry tomatoes is ideal for a picture perfect dish, but all red work just fine!
- You can use any fresh herbs you have on hand. I happen to grow rosemary, thyme and oregano and they complement this Mediterranean salmon perfectly well. But you could throw in some sage or parsley, or used dried herbs if you don’t have fresh ones. You could also sprinkle some freshly sliced basil on top after you take the sheet out of the oven.
- Do yourself a favor any buy real Kalamata olives preserved in brine or olive oil. Stay away from canned olives, they are a disgrace to the olive world…
- The actual cooking time will depend on the thickness of your salmon. The time given in the recipe (20 minutes) is for a filet about 1″ thick at its thickest part. I always use a whole salmon filet or at least a large portion of it, all in one piece. If you have individual serving size pieces of salmon, they will cook faster as the heat comes at them from all sides. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t dry out. If you arrange the tomatoes and onions nicely between them, chances are they will stay moist. Nothing worse than a dry piece of salmon IMHO.
- You can eat the cooked slices of lemon or not, it’s purely a matter of personal taste.
- Serve with any kind of grain like brown rice or farro. Add a green vegetable like zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, sautéed spinach or a large green salad.
Other sheet-pan recipes you might like:
- 2 lbs salmon filet skin on
- 1 ea lemon sliced thin
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes multi-colored, cut in half
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1/2 ea red onion
- 2 ea garlic cloves sliced thin
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dry
- 1/2 tbsp fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dry
- 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dry
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on it.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on the skin side of the salmon and rub it on gently. Place the fish skin down onto the parchment paper. Sprinkle the flesh side with another pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cut the tomatoes in halves. Slice the lemons in thin slices. Slice the red onion and garlic in thin slices. Drain and rinse the capers. Wash and dry your herbs.
- Arrange a few lemon slices on top of your fish and the rest around it. Arrange the tomatoes, olives, garlic, and half of the onion slices around the fish. Sprinkle the rest of the onion and the capers on top of the fish. Sprinkle the herbs all over.
- Drizzle with olive oil all over, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the fish is done to your liking and flakes easily with a fork. The exact cooking time will depend on the size and thickness of your fish.
- Take out of the oven and rest 5 minutes before serving.