If you are looking for a delicious 30-minute weekday dinner, this recipe for Baked Salmon with Corn and Artichoke Salsa is just the thing to make. Serve it along with a large green salad (I’m very into mache greens these days) and you’ll have a complete meal in no time.
If you have our Clean Cuisine book, you know we eat fish weekly to ensure we get plenty of long-chain omega-3’s (EPA and DHA). I would say wild salmon is probably the fish we eat the most frequently. I emphasize wild because if you are following an anti-inflammatory diet it is super important to make sure you go for wild salmon rather than farmed. However, the vast majority of the salmon consumed in the United States is farmed Atlantic salmon, which is a pro-inflammatory food. If you are like us and trying to eat fish for health reasons and to get optimal amounts of EPA and DHA omega-3 fats, then you are actually better off skipping salmon entirely rather than eating farmed salmon. Farmed salmon is NOT a health food.
Having said that, there is a definite difference in the way wild salmon tastes and cooks in comparison to farmed salmon. I’ll be honest, when we initially made the switch from farmed salmon to wild years ago we didn’t really like the flavor as much, but we now have to agree with Bon Appetit: wild salmon is to farmed what fine wine is to grape juice. Once you go wild–and once you learn to properly prepare it!—you will never want to go back to the bland farmed salmon. But, there are two big secrets to making delicious and mouth watering wild salmon…
Do not overcook! Wild salmon can get very dry if it is overcooked.
When making the recipe for Baked Salmon below, keep in mind that the fish will continue to cook after it is removed from the heat source, so you have to remove your fish from the oven before it is done to your liking. And while I realize the idea of under-cooked fish sounds very unappetizing, wild salmon is different than most fish and actually tastes much better on the rare side, when the center is still translucent.
Choosing the Best Wild Salmon for Your Baked Salmon Recipe
There are actually seven species of wild salmon, but only five are typically available in North America (Pink, Chinock, Sockeye, Coho and Keta). There are subtle differences in the texture, color and flavor of each species, but they can all be used for the baked salmon recipe below. However, these are my three favorite types of wild salmon below….
Chinook (in season May to June) Also called King, this is the largest Pacific salmon species (average adult weight is 20 lb., but it can go up to 50 lb.). It’s the earliest to market and the most sought after, prized for its high fat content and melt-in- your-mouth flesh that ranges in color from ivory to deep orange-red. This is definitely my favorite wild salmon species.
Coho (in season August to September) Also called “silver salmon” for its bright, silvery skin, coho’s deep orange flesh is firm and meaty, with a more delicate flavor than king salmon. Cohos are the second largest species, with an average weight of 12 lb. It has a high oil content (though not as high as the Chinook’s) and its meat is rich, red and delicious. Coho is my second favorite wild salmon species.
Sockeye (in season mid-May to late July) Sockeye flesh is brilliantly colored–almost fluorescent orange–and even when canned is sold as gourmet-grade fish. When served fresh, it is top notch–firm, rich and flavorful. In fact, many salmon devotees consider sockeye the absolute best of all the salmon–even better than the king. However, it is also the most difficult to cook as it can very easily dry out. I do like sockeye salmon, but I just find it trickier to cook and for that reason it is my third choice.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for brushing on salmon)
Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup Kalamata olives (sliced in half lengthwise)
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 6-ounces wild salmon steaks
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large baking dish, add the the frozen corn, tomatoes and frozen artichokes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast vegetables for 25 to 30 minutes, or until artichokes are soft and tomatoes are wilted. Remove vegetables from the oven and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
To the mixing bowl, add the parsley, olives, garlic and lemon juice. Set the salsa aside.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Rinse the salmon steaks with cool water and pat very dry. Brush both sides of the salmon with olive oil and season with salt. Bake salmon for about 10 minutes, or until the outside begins to flake (note: be extra careful not to over cook wild salmon or it will be very dry!) Serve the salmon with the artichoke salsa.
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In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!