following is a sample recipe from the cookbook, Wildwood:
Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest.
Salmon Baked on Rock Salt
with Red Onion-Caper Vinaigrette
When a salmon fillet is properly cooked, you’ll find that
it flakes off of the skin with relative ease. Baking the fish on
rock salt tempers and distributes the heat, resulting in moist,
evenly cooked flesh. The red onion-caper vinaigrette adds a light,
yet pungent flavor to the salmon. Any leftover fish can be flaked
into salads, soups, or made into salmon cakes.
Red Onion-Caper Vinaigrette
1 c olive oil
1/4 c sherry vinegar
1 ts Dijon mustard
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 ts capers, drained
1 ts chopped fresh basil
1 ts salt
3/4 ts freshly ground black pepper
4 lb salmon fillet, pin bones removed, with skin intact
2 TB mixed minced fresh herbs such as tarragon, basil,
flat-leaf parsley, and thyme
2 TB fennel seeds, cracked
1 ts salt
1/2 ts freshly ground black pepper
Rock or kosher salt for lining pan
prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar,
and mustard. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate
until ready to use. The vinaigrette can be made up to 2 days ahead.
To prepare the salmon: Rub the fillet with herbs and fennel seeds.
Season with salt and pepper. At this point, the salmon can be covered
and refrigerated overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Cover a large jellyroll or roasting
pan with foil. Pour the rock or kosher salt into the pan, covering
its surface. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the salt. Bake
in the oven for 35 - 45 minutes, or until opaque on the outside
and slightly translucent in the center. This method of cooking allows
the salmon to cook through without becoming dry. Remove from the
oven, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 5 minutes (the
salmon will continue to cook).
To serve, use a wide spatula to remove the salmon from the salt.
Remove the skin and portion the salmon onto plates. Spoon some of
the red onion-caper vinaigrette over each portion and serve.
Chef’s Note: Though the salt on which the salmon
is baked will absorb juices from the fish, there’s no reason
to throw it out. Instead, set it aside for the next time you prepare
this dish, or one similar.