End of November: Give me all your potatoes and pies.
Early December: These sweat pants are all that fit me right now. Get that pie away from me.
In the search for a lighter yet full-flavored dinner, I dug up this recipe I'd bookmarked many Moleskine pages ago for slow-roasted salmon. We have not been cooking enough fish around here, which I always feel guilty about for some reason. Before this, one of my favorite ways to cook fish at home was en papillote. You tuck your fresh fish fillet, a handful of chopped vegetables and a splash of wine into a pouch and everything steams in the oven until cooked through. It is impressive and fast.
This slow-roasted salmon takes a bit longer but is even easier. The oven temperature comes way down, so you don't have to babysit it, and there is no dinner origami required. "Slow" roasting in this case means about 40 minutes, so we're talking dinner in an hour. Plus, there is no way the fish will be overcooked. This method yields the most tender salmon I've ever cooked in my kitchen.
I couldn't find a 2-pound slab of salmon for this recipe, so instead I had the fish guy set me up with several smaller center-cut fillets, and I tucked them side by side on a plush, multicolored bed of Meyer lemon and orange slices with feathery dill and slivers of shallot. These fresh ingredients infuse your salmon as it roasts, perfuming your kitchen and signaling a great dinner to anyone nearby. (Your kitchen won't smell like fish; it will just smell good.)
I made this salmon with the intention of having several healthy dinners for a party of two, but this could be a stunning and unexpected star of your next dinner party. Either way, it is an excellent breather recipe between the holidays.
Ileana Morales Valentine lives in St. Petersburg with her husband. For more of their kitchen stories, visit her blog, ALittleSaffron.com. Say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.