This baked salmon is topped with an easy-to-make, colorful citrus vinaigrette. Winter is the height of citrus season, so it’s a great ingredient to use this time of year to brighten any dish. Despite our love of juice, the true essence of lemons and oranges resides in the oils in their rinds. (I recommend checking out these creative, flavorful ways to use citrus peel.)This vinaigrette combines juice and zest to create a beautiful, citrusy dressing for the salmon.
Although the recipe claims you can use champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar, I would definitely recommend using champagne. White-wine vinegar isn’t as delicate and you risk overwhelming the other flavors. That said, I accidentally neglected to pick up shallots at the store, and true to my lazy-February attitude I decided to substitute an ingredient I already had on hand—garlic. Garlic and shallots are related, after all! The salmon turned out perfectly, and I have no intention of going back to shallots next time. I also couldn’t find chervil, so I substituted fennel fronds instead. Fennel has a similar anise flavor to chervil and is easier to find this time of year. Plus, that meant I could pair the salmon with a shaved fennel salad, as suggested at the top of the recipe.
To make the salad I shaved one bulb of fennel with a mandolin, squeezed the juice of half a lemon and half of an orange over the fennel, and tossed it with a little salt. I let it sit while the salmon roasted, then placed a small pile of the mildly pickled fennel on top of arugula and drizzled it all in olive oil. It was a perfect pairing for the salmon. From salmon to salad, I didn’t even spend half an hour in the kitchen!
Baked Salmon with Citrus Vinaigrette via Fine Cooking