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Oven-roasted salmon with lemon-tarragon butter is unbelievably easy

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

For a dinner that's as easy as it is elegant, roast salmon and asparagus, and top it off with flavored butter

It’s easy to make flavored butters that go perfectly with salmon. And it’s also easy to prepare this delicious salmon and asparagus dish in the oven. Don’t let all the easy prep fool you: You could definitely serve this sophisticated and delightful meal at a special gathering.

For a dinner that's as easy as it is elegant, roast salmon and asparagus, and top it off with flavored butter

You can easily make a glorious meal, and without any hassle. Really. This oven-baked salmon with asparagus and lemon-tarragon butter is perfect for a family meal or as a meal for an elegant dinner party, especially when you’re short on time or you’re looking for super-easy prep (keep in mind that you should plan a bit of extra time for the butter to chill).

For a dinner that's as easy as it is elegant, roast salmon and asparagus, and top it off with flavored butter

The combined flavors of lemon and tarragon go well with the salmon and help keep things bright. Consider serving this with a side of rice or roasted potatoes for a complete meal.

Oven-baked salmon with asparagus and lemon-tarragon butter recipe

This dish relies on simple seasoning to enhance the flavors of the ingredients. The butter adds a citrusy herb touch to the salmon and asparagus.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 8-12 minutes | Total time: 18-22 minutes

Ingredients:

For the lemon-tarragon butter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the asparagus

  • 1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the salmon

  • 4 (4 ounce) salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to season
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Aluminum foil
  • Lemon slices, for garnish

Directions:

For the lemon-tarragon butter

  1. In a food processor, mix all the ingredients, and then transfer to a small bowl or ramekin.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, until ready to serve.

For the asparagus

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a baking pan, place the asparagus pieces, and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with the salt and pepper.
  3. Place in the oven while the salmon cooks, but you will likely need to remove the asparagus before the salmon has finished cooking. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, tossing once during cooking.
  4. Remove from the oven, and keep warm.

For the salmon

  1. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil, and spray lightly with the nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Coat them on both sides with the olive oil, then season with a pinch each of salt and ground black pepper.
  3. Place on the pan skin side down. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness of the salmon.
  4. The salmon will flake easily with a fork when done. Try this in the thickest part of the salmon. The USDA notes that a safe internal temperature for fish, as measured by a food thermometer, is 145 degrees F.
  5. Serve the salmon and asparagus with a dollop of lemon-tarragon butter on top or on the side.

More fish recipes

Tilapia tacos with mango and tangy slaw
One-pot curried shrimp with spring vegetables
Crispy fish bites with chili-lime tarter sauce

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