Baking salmon at a low temperature allows the fat to melt slowly, gently basting the fish from the inside out to keep it especially moist. The roasted lemon slices add a delightful tartness to the carrots and are entirely edible if you choose. Just be sure to toss them with the carrots before serving — you’ll be glad you did!
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
- ½ lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon harissa paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 portion king, coho, or sockeye salmon (10 to 12 ounces), pin bones removed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted salted almonds
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Warm flatbread, such as naan or pita, for serving
Prep the Salmon
Preheat the oven to 300°F with a rack in the center position. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.
Brush a sturdy rimmed baking sheet with oil and arrange the lemon slices across the bottom, roughly in the size and shape of the fish. Place the salmon, skin-side down, over the lemon slices.
Marinate the Salmon
In a medium bowl, combine the oil, harissa, cumin, and paprika. Spread the spice paste over the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature. Don’t wipe out the bowl.
Pre-Cook the Carrots
Meanwhile, add the carrots to the boiling water and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to the bowl used to make the spice paste. Toss the carrots with salt and pepper and scatter them around the fish.
Bake the Salmon
Bake until the salmon is just opaque in the center (125°F on an instant-read thermometer) and the carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. Cut the salmon into 2 pieces and transfer to plates. Stir the raisins, almonds, and parsley into the carrots and lemon slices and serve alongside the salmon with warm flatbread to scoop it all up.
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Pair it Up
This assertively seasoned salmon dish is equally delicious served with a buttery white wine or a light-bodied red wine. Try an unoaked chardonnay to balance the spices or a pinot noir to counter the sweetness of the carrots and raisins.
Spice it Up
The spice level of harissa can vary from mild to mind blowing. Add more or less to suit your tastes.
Change it Up
Fold leftover salmon and carrots into couscous for tomorrow’s lunch.
Lighten it Up
Reduce the olive oil to 1 tablespoon and boil the carrots instead of roasting them.
Know Your Cook
Culinary Director Grace Parisi is a cook, writer and cookbook author. Formerly the Senior Test Kitchen Editor at Food & Wine Magazine and Executive Food Director at TimeInc Books, her work has appeared in Cooking Light, Health, O Magazine, Epicurious, Fitness, Today, Serious Eats, Martha Stewart, and many more. She’s the author of more than 6 books, among them The Portlandia Cookbook and Get Saucy, which was nominated for a James Beard award for Best Single Subject Cookbook.
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