Salmon with Lavender-Fennel Salt

It’s my birthday! In honor of the occasion my bff Nina has gotten me the bestest present—she’s flown across the country for a visit! I have planned out a meticulous itinerary of feasting, spa-tripping, and sitting around in loose-fitting clothes admiring our pedicured toes and talking about all the delicious food we have just eaten.

To kick things off, last night I made a dinner of raw oysters in mignonette sauce as a first course, a main dish of salmon with lavender-fennel salt and pan-seared asparagus with shaved parmesan, and a fruit and cheese course consisting of fresh peaches, blueberries, and a wedge of St. Pat cheese from Cowgirl Creamery.

Nina said she wanted the salmon recipe so here it is!

salmon fillets

You start with four wild salmon fillets, skin-on, about six ounces each. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Check your salmon for little bones and pull them all out. Then combine a teaspoon of black peppercorns, a teaspoon of coarse sea salt, a teaspoon of fennel seeds, and a teaspoon of fresh lavender blossoms. Grind it all up using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. (Keep grinding until the peppercorns have all been turned into pepper.)

Brush your salmon fillets with olive oil on both sides and lay them, flesh side up, on the baking sheet. Season them evenly with the lavender-fennel salt, pressing it firmly into the salmon. Bake for about thirty minutes or until a food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the salmon reads 140 degrees.

(Recipe adapted from The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market Cookbook.)

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