Baked Wild-Caught Salmon | Lemon-Butter, Thyme and Garlic

Salmon is one of my favorite dishes to make on a hot summer’s afternoon.  The cooking time is kept to  a minimum, usually no longer than 15 minutes, which is perfect if your kitchen lacks Central Air! Right now we have all the windows open and two fans turned on high.  Preparing and eating meals that incorporate more fish during the summer is an easy way to keep your body feeling satisfied without feeling weighed down or tired.

In this recipe you will be making a simple herb and garlic rub, and a lemon-butter sauce to then generously drizzle over your fillet before baking.  A good thing to keep in mind once you have finished mincing your garlic is to set it aside for 7-10 minutes before it is added to the rest of your ingredients.  This will help to release all of the essential oils inside the garlic, which will allow for an even more flavorful dish.  Note: When garlic sustains tissue damage it releases a compound called allicin which contains all of the herbs antiviral/antibacterial elements.

If I’m trying to and cut down on cooking time (or if I remember), I’ll make sure to peel, chop and mince the garlic before I start preparing any of my other ingredients.

For the sauce you’ll be using white wine, lemon juice and melted grass-fed butter.  If you want to cut down on prep time, feel free to use store purchased lemon juice! Matt and I usually buy the Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lemon Juice.  As for purchasing grass-fed butter, I highly recommend Kerrygold Unsalted Irish Butter. It’s probably one of the more inexpensive grass-fed butters out there.  When it comes to choice of wine, I would recommend using a Chardonnay!  Or if you are in the market for trying a new wine please feel free to use Cote Mas Blanc Mediterranean 2012.  I used this when making my lemon-butter sauce. Its medium lemon color is compiled of 35% Grenache Blanc, 25% Vermentino, 25% Chardonnay, 15% Sauvignon Blanc.  It’s quit enjoyable and not only for it’s subtle taste of citrus but the packaging design is beautiful!

Prep Time: 20 minutes || Cooking Time: 12 minutes || Total Time: 32 minutes

  • 1 lb. wild-caught salmon
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (remove steams)
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (1-2 lemons, freshly squeezed)
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine
  • 3 Tablespoon grass-fed butter, melted
Additional Materials:
  • 18” x 26” non-stick baking sheet (preferably with rolled edges)
  • parchment paper, cut to the size of the baking sheet
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • 1 small sauce pan
  • chef’s knife
  • wire whisk
  • lemon squeezer

Preparing Your Herb And Garlic Blend

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the sea salt, fresh chopped thyme, ground turmeric and minced garlic, stir to mix well.  Rub your herb and garlic blend over the fillet, pressing your mixture into the fleshy side of the fish.

Preparing Your Edged Baking Sheet

Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it down to the size of the baking sheet. Transfer your salmon on top.

Keep in mind sizes may vary depending on the diameter of your fillet.  For this recipe I used an 18″ x 26″ edged baking sheet.  An edged baking sheet may be more helpful than a flat sheet.  You do not want precious buttery sauce spilling over and burning the inside of your oven!  I’ve learned my lesson once or twice.  No edge baking sheet?  That’s okay!  When you’re cutting the parchment paper you can always save an extra inch around the perimeter and fold that extra bit, facing inward.  This will help to create a barrier for your lemon-butter sauce.

 Preparing Your White Wine Lemon Butter Sauce

In a large bowl, pour in the white wine and lemon juice. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt your grass-fed butter. Stir constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes; remove the saucepan as soon as the butter has melted.  Slowly combine the melted butter with the white wine and lemon juice.  Whisk your wet ingredients together, until their consistency slightly thicken.  Once you are done, generously drizzle over the entire fillet, making sure to evenly coat the entire surface.

Make sure your oven has had enough time to preheat. Now you are ready to bake your salmon! Set the timer for 12-15 minutes or until meat begins to firm.  Do not hesitate to keep your fillets in a little longer if you see fit.  If I think the salmon needs to cook a little longer,  I usually turn the oven off and let the fillets sit in the oven for an extra 2-3 minutes.  Once your salmon is cooked to your liking, remove from oven and serve over a bed of fresh greens and enjoy!


  • Reply August 25, 2014

    Rische Fraser

    Besutiful website!!!

    Sara, you should become a “food stylist” for a magazine!!!

    That would be an awesome career.

    There is an advertising agency in Salem who hires stylists.

  • Reply September 8, 2014

    Rische Fraser

    Sara, I have looked at all the local advertising companies, nothing sounds familiar from the 15 + years ago that I knew of a company.

    They may have moved or changed names.

    My next suggestion is to look at food magazines and the advertising company they use for a contact, or… get the names of the food stylists, you usually can get their email address from the magazine, and email the stylist, asking if you can send them your resume’. Tell them you are interested in an internship.

    Maybe start off with a local magazine like “test kitchen”. You can just reach out to them and ask them if they can give you suggestions how to get into the business. Sound eager!!!:):)

  • Reply September 10, 2014

    Sara Santarsiero

    Thank you Rische!

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