Herb Roasted Salmon with Buttermilk Dressing

I keep a large herb garden and hate to see my herbs not being used – so I thought this would be a perfect way to showcase them at a dinner party. Fresh herbs, like dill, chives and fennel fronds were used to blanket the salmon, and a buttermilk dressing was made with more herbs!  I serve this with a Zucchini Bulgur (cracked wheat) Salad, but it would also be lovely with a cold pesto pasta salad.

Use your favorite salmon, we prefer wild Alaskan. You can prepare the salmon earlier in the day, and refrigerate it until you are ready to pop into the oven – my rule of thumb is to welcome guests, serve cocktails and appetizers, and while they are sipping and snacking, excuse yourself to put the salmon in the oven.

Buttermilk Dressing – 4 servings
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
4 dashes Tabasco
1/3 cup minced chives and dill

Whisk together all the ingredients, except the herbs, until well combined and no lumps are remaining. Stir in the chopped herbs. Cover and refrigerate, for at least 1 hour, until ready to serve.

Dressing can be made 3 days ahead. You can also use the dressing on salad or for veggie dip.

Herb Roasted Salmon – 4 servings
1 2-3 lb skin-on salmon filet, ensure all bones are removed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 bunches of dill, with stems in tact
2 bunches of chives, with stems in tact
Fennel branches with fronds

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Prepare a baking sheet by lining with 1 bunch of dill, chives, and the fennel fronds. Lay salmon over the herbs, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil, and massage into salmon. Blanket salmon with remaining herbs.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. To check doneness, use a butter knife to flake off a piece. To serve, remove blanket of herbs, and transfer to a platter. Lightly drizzle salmon with buttermilk dressing. Set buttermilk dressing on the side, in case anyone wants extra (and they will!)

Happy Cooking! Bon Appetit!

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Key Lime Pie

I was in Key West a few months ago, and could not stop sampling Key lime pie wherever we went – even minutes after we checked into our hotel, we were sent a heavenly slice. This is simple, tart, and worth the effort.

Now – I don’t care for garnish, but it seems like toasted coconut, or whip cream are often sDSCN0998erved on the pie, so you do what what you have to.

Key Lime Pie – 6 servings
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons grated Key lime zest
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh Key lime juice
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk together the yolks, zest, condensed milk, lime juice, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and thickened, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Combine the graham crackers and sugar in the food processor and process into fine crumbs. Add the butter and process until the mixture just comes together. Pat onto the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Place on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden brown and firm, about 10 minutes.

Add the thickened filling to the warm crust, return to the oven, and bake the pie until the center is firm but jiggles slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover the surface and refrigerate until chilled and set, about 3 hours.

Slice into 6 pieces, and serve with or without garnish.