Salmon made with a garlic herb butter sauce served with asparagus, a lemon garlic rice and dill sauce. Can be baked in the oven or on a smoker grill.
We Love Fresh Fish
When my husband and I first got married I used to hate Septembers. Not only was my job intense during that time but it also meant the local river was open to migrating salmon. That means I never saw my husband. I hated it! That meant every morning and evening I was actually home he wasn’t. He was at the river getting his daily limit. I honestly think I was always jealous and not so much mad.
Looking back I don’t know why it bothered me, because now any opportunity he has to bring home fresh locally caught salmon, I don’t bat an eye. In fact, I’m the one now asking when he is going and help him carve time out of our busy schedule to make sure we can fill the meat freezer. I love to fish as well. However, the style of fishing that takes place on a river is not my thing. I see fishing as a getaway and relaxing but down there its just cut throat and not my thing. Its often referred to as “combat fishing.”
The time he spends fishing is a positive for our family in two different ways.
- It’s his time. Everyone needs something that they can go to or do that breaks up normal life. For my husband that is fishing. The thrill of reeling in a big salmon or simply a day out on the lake with no demands is just what he needs to recharge.
- We love fresh seafood. Most years my husband will bring home enough salmon that we can freeze it for the year. And now that our kids our older its something we will get out and do more often. We use a vacuum sealer and freeze immediately if it isn’t going to get used and will last us until the next summer. Some of the fish he brings home we will smoke, vacuum pack and freeze to use in dips or for a tasty snack later on.
We vacuum seal all of our fish. It lasts up to a year in the deep freezer and tastes almost as good as the day it’s brought home. Of course nothing can beat salmon cooked the same day its caught.
We use the big game food saver to package all of our meat. We used to have a standard one but we were constantly getting freezer burns or the seals would break. This one is working so much better so far. It’s a lot of work to clean, debone and vacuum seal fish, so having it go bad wasn’t an option anymore.
The Kids Are Hooked
Fishing has always been apart of my life. We would spend the summers camping with our extended family which always meant we did some fishing. Our parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents all love it, so it’s often something that is shared around family occasions as well. As adults we still get together for our annual fishing derby and just lazy days on the lake. Even if we come up empty handed it’s still some of our favorite memories. Our annual fishing derby is always the most anticipated event in our family.
Because fishing is something that we love to do, naturally our kids have fallen in love as well. Actually, for my son it’s an obsession. It’s all he talks about and when he wakes up in the morning and realizes we are not fishing that day the look of sadness is pathetic. Even when we play in the back yard the kids are often perfecting their cast. Watching them reel in a fish themselves still brings us so much joy.
One very important lesson we teach our kids is that no matter what, if you catch it and want to keep it, we are going to eat it. It’s a lesson we want to instill in our kids and something we stress every time we are out there. My four year old son asks every time. “When can I get my own filet knife?”
We have only taken our kids trout fishing but cannot wait for the day when we can watch them reel in their first salmon. We have taken them to do other types of shell fishing. Just this last year we have done steamer clams, razor clams and two full days of crabbing. Not exaggerating when I say we love seafood!
Ways We Like to Prepare Salmon
We have a few different ways we like to eat salmon. We have steamed, baked, grilled, smoked and have served it with many different options. One thing we like to consider before we cook salmon is the type.
If it is a pink or humpy salmon we usually save those for a batch of smoking. They do not have the best flavor but once you brine and smoke for 4 hours it really doesn’t matter. That is why I would never smoke a king or coho. You really dont want to cover up the fresh flavors of those cuts.
If we do cook our pink salmon, I tend to mix it up with a pesto or creamy sauce or make some fish tacos.
If we are lucky enough to bring home a king or coho there is only one way to prepare it. That’s with garlic, lemon and some dill. King salmon is so flavorful we do not like to mask it with a lot of heavy flavors. I like to stick with fresh citrus and herbs. I typically think the darker the meat is the less ingredients I use to cook it.
If we catch trout its almost always cooked over a camp fire, pan fried or smoked.
Today I am sharing our go to garlic herb butter salmon recipe with a side of lemon garlic rice and dill sauce. We love to cook our on our Trager grill but this will work just as great in the oven. As the summer goes on I will share some of the other ways we like to cook fish.
How to Make the Salmon
When you look at the ingredient list you might be a tad overwhelmed. Please don’t worry! Most of them are the same for each component so there is a lot of crossover. With that said, this dish is super easy and fast to make because you can prepare your garlic, dill, parsley and lemons at one time for all the components. You can also prepare the rice and sauce while the salmon is cooking.
For this demo I had to use dried dill but i strongly recommend fresh dill for this. Unfortunately my grocery store was completely out.
Prep your asparagus and salmon first.
Start with the asparagus by cleaning and removing the ends. Then toss in olive oil, salt and pepper.
Next, make your butter spread for the salmon. I prefer to press my garlic for this step as it really brings out all the juices of the garlic. You can also mince it. When I make the rice I simply mince it since it’s being sautéed down.
Arrange your baking sheet with the salmon in the middle, onions around it, and then asparagus. If you don’t like onions you can skip those.
Coat salmon in the butter spread and squeeze half of the lemon over the entire baking sheet. Making sure to get the salmon, onions and asparagus. Take the other half of the lemon and cut thin slices to place on top of the salmon.
While the salmon is cooking, start the rice. Heat up the olive oil in a small pot and add in the garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds.
Then add in the vegetable stock and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes.
When the rice is done remove from heat. Fluff it with a fork, add in the parsley and lemon and cover until the salmon is ready
Of course nothing makes it to our dinner table with out some kind of sauce. Prepare the dill sauce by combining the mayo, greek yogurt, dill, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl.
You know when your salmon is done when it is opaque and flakey. Very important you do not overcook salmon.
When the salmon is finished serve with rice, asparagus and dill sauce.
Tip for serving kids: When serving fish to kids, what I always like to do is make sure they get the pieces closest to the tail. There is a greater chance that they won’t get any pin bones that may have been missed.
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Garlic Herb Butter Salmon
For the Salmon
- 1 lb Salmon Filet
- 1/2 Diced onion
- 2 tbsp Butter Melted
- 2 Garlic Cloves Pressed or minced
- 1 tbsp Fresh Parsley Finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Fresh Dill 1 tsp if dried
- 1 Lemon Cut in half
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
For the Asparagus
- 1 lb Asparagus ends trimmed
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
For the Garlic Lemon Rice
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves pressed or minced
- 1.5 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 Cup Basmati Rice could also use Jasmine Rice
- 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
For the Dill Sauce
- 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Dill 2 tsp dried
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- Pepper to taste
- Prep all of your ingredients before starting. Mince or press all the garlic and chop all the parsley.
- Preheat your oven (or Treager) to 350 degrees
- Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside
Prepare the Asparagus
- Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus
- Lay out on a plate and drizzle with olive oil
- Toss with salt and pepper to evenly coat
- Set Aside
Prepare the Salmon
- Remove salmon from package, pat with a paper towel and place in center of the prepared baking sheet.
- Double check for any pin bones and remove.
- Add onions all around the salmon
- Then place the prepared asparagus on the baking sheet
- Make the butter spread by combining the melted butter, pressed garlic, fresh herbs and salt.
- Spread all over the salmon giving it an even coating
- Then take half of a lemon and squeeze the juices all over the sheet pan. Making sure to coat the salmon, onions and asparagus. Before you start this step make sure to pick out the seeds.
- Take the other half of the lemon and cut thin slices and place on top of the salmon
- Place in your oven or Traeger and cook for about 25 min until the salmon is opaque and flaky. Do not overcook!
For the Rice
- While the salmon is cooking take a small pot and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Add in the garlic and satuee for 30 seconds.
- Add in rice and vegetable broth and bring to a boil
- Reduce temperature to low, cover and cook for 10 min
- Once done remove from heat, fluff with fork and mix in fresh parsley and lemon. Cover and let sit until the fish is done
For the Sauce
- Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.