Brown Butter Herb Crispy Skin Salmon and Vegetables is seasoned and then sauteed to a perfect crisp in a garlicky, browned butter sauce with a light pop of lemon and a nutty aroma. The pan seared crispy skin salmon filet is served on top of a bed of vibrant colored root vegetables for a delicious, herbaceous, and light dinner.
It's easy enough to make for a weeknight dinner but definitely classy enough to serve to guests. It's also one of my favorites because Aidan loves to help prepare it. He even makes a cameo in the preparation video
Brown Butter Herb Crispy Skin Salmon and Vegetables
The root vegetable blend that this salmon is served over complements the salmon perfectly. I learned the herb bed method from Gordon Ramsay, (but add olive oil to mine! Gordon uses it in his Masterclass where he makes an incredible Chicken Supreme recipe that he pairs with roasted root vegetables). Potatoes and carrots are roasted on a bed of herbs which carries the essence of thyme, rosemary and parsley through without overwhelming the dish. We actually took several pages from Gordon Ramsay's "book" for the development of this recipe.
How to cook root vegetables
First, wash and dry the vegetables. In a roasting pan, drizzle oil along the bottom and then form a bed of rosemary, thyme and parsley-evenly distributed across the pan. Lay the vegetables on top of the herb bed and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, a little pepper, and a pinch of Cajun seasoning. The Cajun seasoning is optional, we like to give it a little heat, but it does make it a little spicy. Cover the pan and seal tightly with aluminum foil. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium-heat until you hear crackling (this speeds up the cooking process), and then transfer the pan to a preheated oven. Cook the vegetables, covered, until they are fork-tender, 30 to 40 minutes depending on size of the vegetables you use.
Prepping the crispy skin salmon and herbs
Have herbs and seasoning sliced and ready. Salmon cooks quickly so you'll want to have everything ready to add to the pan ahead of time. Take the salmon out of cold storage and allow it to get to room temperature while you prep everything else. To saute the salmon you'll need a lemon slice for each piece of salmon, fresh sage, fresh garlic, butter, olive oil, Cajun seasoning, sea salt flakes, pepper, fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary.
Scoring the Salmon Skin
Scoring salmon prior to cooking it allows it to cook faster, more evenly, and it helps to crisp the edges of the skin. Notice Aidan's cameo? This method makes the end result more flavorful because it allows the salmon to absorb more of the flavors in the shortened cooking time. You don't have to trust me here, this is advice I took straight from Gordon Ramsay. Season the salmon with sea salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning before placing in in the pan to sear.
How to pan sear salmon
It is super important to cook salmon skin-side down. Cooking it skin-side down protects it from quickly overcooking and it crisps the skin. Let the salmon get to room temperature before cooking, don't cook it when it's "fresh off the ice". The salmon will cook faster at room temperature and that helps prevent it from drying out. Also, heat the pan before you drizzle the olive oil that you'll cook the salmon in. Once the pan is hot, drizzle the olive oil and immediately place the salmon-skin side down. Press down lightly on the salmon filet with a spatula to flatten it against the pan. Turn it when the skin side has reached a light, golden brown. The side facing up will still be cool to the touch.
When is salmon done cooking?
After the initial pan sear, add your butter, garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Gently rock the pan so that the sauce will migrate over to the salmon. Cook over low heat for about 6-7 minutes (depending on the thickness of your filet) in the herbs and butter. As it cooks, baste it with the sauce and add the lemon slices and sage. To make sure that the salmon is ready, check that the side without skin (pink side) flakes off easily. If it's cooked to medium (which is what we want), it will separate from the white lines across the filet when it is pulled gently. That is when you should remove from the heat. If it cooks any longer it will dry out and get crumbly. Serve over roasted root vegetables and try not to lick the plate (or do it, I won't judge).
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Brown Butter Herb Crispy Skin Salmon and Vegetables
- 1 bunch parsley
- 1½ lb potatoes (I used a mixed medley of peewee potatoes, but redskins and fingerling are also delicious!)
- 1½ lb carrots (I used a mix of rainbow carrots, but any carrot will work)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- sea salt flakes
- 1 small bunch thyme
- 1 bunch rosemary
- 1 lb wild caught salmon filet
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Remove salmon from the fridge (allow it to get to room temperature as you prep the vegetables). Wash and pat dry vegetables.
- Drizzle olive oil in a roasting pan and form a bed of rosemary, thyme and parsley evenly distributed across the pan.
- Lay the vegetables on top of the herb bed and lightly drizzle with olive oil.
- Season with salt a little pepper and a pinch of Cajun seasoning (Cajun seasoning is optional, but will add spice).
- Cover and seal around edges tightly with aluminum foil.
- Place roasting pan on the stove over medium-heat until you hear crackling (this speeds up the cooking process) transfer pan to preheated oven.
- Cook the vegetables until they are fork-tender, 30 to 40 minutes depending on size.
Brown Butter Herb Crispy Skin Salmon
- Gently score the skin side of the room temperature salmon filet several times.
- Sprinkle both sides with sea salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning.
- Slice lemon, press garlic, and have pads of butter ready.
- Heat empty pan that you'll be using to sear the salmon fillets.
- Once pan is hot, add olive oil and place salmon (skin-side down) in the oil. Press down on top of the filet gently to get the skin-side of the filet flat against the pan. Sear until a golden brown color is achieved and the side facing up is still cool to the touch. Flip fillet over and cook the other side until golden.
- Add butter, garlic, thyme, and rosemary to the pan.
- Cook on low heat for 6-7 minutes while basting fillets with sauce from the pan. Add lemon slices and sage as you baste.
- Remove the salmon to rest on a plate and serve over roasted root vegetables.- Enjoy!