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I’ve never met a salmon I didn’t like… to eat that is. Whether it’s grilled, smoked, broiled—or in Suzanne Goin‘s recipe this week: Slow-Roasted Wild Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt—its bound to be the star of any picnic plate.
What interested me most about her method was how she slow roasts the salmon with the water in the oven, almost to the point of poaching it. This might not be a new concept for some, but it was for me. I’ve poached salmon on the stove-top; it comes out moist, but can be soggy at times and oily, if I’m using olive oil for the poach. Her method of placing a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven, and then baking the salmon in a pan above the water-filled pan is easy and it doesn’t even involve you purchasing a proper fish poacher. It’s truly a fun and effortless way to cook fabulous piece of fish.
The cucumber yogurt is a cool, healthy and tasty complement to the salmon, which is rich and robust with its spice combination of shallots, dill, tarragon and parsley. It’s quick to whip up, and reminiscent of Greek tzatziki, though the cayenne pepper and toasted cumin definitely give it a kick. Even though Goin directs you to use whole milk organic yogurt, I opted for 0% fat Greek yogurt (watching my waistline) and was happy with the results. I also didn’t have the preserved lemon, and though I think it would have been a fabulous addition, fresh lemon juice and lemon zest will due as substitutions. Also, if you don’t have watercress to use on the bed of rice, try arugula (pictured) or olive oil-massaged kale.
The verdict is that this recipe is a winner all around—perfect for kicking off the 2012 Hollywood Bowl season. It’s full of flavor, and easy to pack up in your picnic basket to enjoy at the Bowl.