Wild Sockeye Salmon with Herbs
How about salmon! There are of course a few questions to consider: is it wild salmon season (generally late summer)? Which salmon season is it (coho, sockeye, chum, pink)? If it isn’t salmon season, how about wild frozen? Or if not frozen, what about fresh farmed (atlantic vs pacific)? Which state or country farmed it? I do taste testing experiments on a topic like this for my own knowledge and taste, and on my clients’ behalf. Defrosting deep frozen wild salmon and buying fresh farmed salmon, and cooking them with the same treatments yields interesting differences: colors (dark coral for wild vs. light pink for farmed), taste (firm bite for wild vs. softer and slightly fattier for the farmed), and the cost (roughly $12/lb for frozen vs. $15/lb for the farmed, give or take). Even if your friendly neighborhood fishmonger offers fresh wild salmon out of season, he/she also received it frozen and defrosted it that morning for you (the majority of salmon species have their peak season during June, July, August; it gets fished and a good portion frozen immediately). Either way, salmon takes very little preparation: Preheat oven to 425F, add one tablespoon of butter or olive oil in roasting dish and place dishes in oven; in a food processor puree a mix of herbs (I like parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano) with some olive oil, add salt & pepper; spoon herb mixture onto salmon fillets; carefully remove dish from oven, slide fish into bubbling butter, return to oven and roast for 8-12min, per your oven and preferred doneness.
If you eat fish often, it’s good too to investigate if there is a local seafood CSA in your area, to keep your household menu in season and to support local industries. If not, just check the labels on your frozen purchases for the source. The photo above happened to be Frozen Wild Alaskan Sockeye from Trader Joe’s which was a delicious off-season fix. Happy fishing!