The Salmon Cooking Method Andrew Zimmern Called Foolproof

Anyone who has cooked salmon knows that this light, flaky fish is notoriously easy to overcook (via Bon Appetit). In fact, we have probably all learned the hard way that salmon can go from "I don't think it's done yet" to dry and chewy in just a matter of minutes. That's why a recent Instagram post from Andrew Zimmern promising foolproof slow roasted salmon with preserved lemon vinaigrette caught our attention.

Although there are many ways to cook salmon (pan-frying, baking, broiling, grilling, and more), Zimmern posted that slow roasting this fish in olive oil is nearly impossible to mess up and results in salmon that is silky and succulent.

The trick, writes Zimmern in the linked story and how-to video, is using a very low temperature — just 200°F. After cutting a skinless salmon filet into slices of about an inch, he rolls said slices into pinwheels, secures them with a wooden skewer, and places them in a baking dish. Then he pours a fairly generous amount of olive oil over each pinwheel. He uses enough to really saturate each piece of fish and create a generous puddle in the pan. The method is similar to shallow poaching (via MasterClass), but using olive oil instead of water, stock, or wine.

After 8 to 10 minutes, the salmon will be cooked. Zimmern instructs that the salmon should look like it has just "set up," and still somewhat translucent above the oil line.

Andrew Zimmern's salmon technique is similar to poaching

Andrew Zimmern describes his gentle, low-heat, hybrid roasting-poaching technique for cooking salmon pinwheels as a low-maintenance method that results in perfectly cooked fish. What a victory for those of us who tend to overcook our salmon!

The finishing and presentation of Zimmern's slow roasted salmon with preserved lemon vinaigrette is pretty fantastic, too — perfect for a date night or dinner party. The recipe calls for making your own Swedish pickles (which is actually a lot less time-consuming than it sounds). After creating a pickling solution seasoned with allspice berries, bay leaves, peppercorns, carrots, and onions, the sliced cucumbers need to sit in the liquid for only an hour before serving.

The dish is also enhanced by a lightly sauteed avocado half. The cooked salmon pinwheel is placed on the avocado, and the pickled cucumbers, onions, and carrots are stacked next to it. The finishing touch is a preserved lemon vinaigrette that you put together while the cucumbers are pickling. (You can buy preserved lemons or easily make your own ahead of time). Zimmern's dish is generously drizzled with the vinaigrette.

Tender, roasted fish, a piquant cucumber salad, and a lemony dressing: It's an elegant, foolproof summer meal.