Salmon is definitely one of the sexiest foods out there. When cooked right, its pink, tender flesh is rich and succulent. This method of roasting salmon is wonderful because it's light and elegant — the perfect date food. All the great colors also make for a killer presentation. To make it easiest on yourself, make the tomatoes well in advance so that you only have to worry about cooking up the salmon fresh. I serve the chopped tomatoes at room temperature because I love the contrast you get with the hot fish. You can also make the lemon slices ahead of time, if you're worried about doing too many things at once. The lemon slices make the presentation but a little bit of their juice squeezed over the fish finishes it perfectly.
- 4 plum tomatoes, quartered
- Olive oil
- 8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (7 to 8-ounce) salmon fillets, about 1 1/2 inches at their thickest point
- Handful fresh dill sprigs
- 1 lemon, cut in half
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place plum tomatoes in a shallow baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and scatter thyme sprigs over all. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes are softened but still have their shape, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Lay the salmon fillets skin side down with some space between them on a baking sheet or baking dish. Season with salt and pepper and cover with dill. Squeeze 1/2 of the lemon over all. Bake until firm, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice the remaining lemon half into 1/4-inch slices. Heat a skillet over high heat. Film the bottom of the pan with olive oil and add lemon slices. Saute until brown on both sides, about 5 to 7 minutes total. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove the aluminum foil from the tomatoes and discard the herb sprigs. Place the tomatoes on a cutting board and roughly chop.
Spoon chopped tomatoes into the center of each plate. Lay a piece of salmon over the tomatoes and lay the lemon halves to the side of the salmon. Serve immediately.