I was in my local Trader Joe’s earlier today and saw beautiful fresh fennel. It called to mind this family favorite recipe for salmon that I like to make at this time of year. This salmon fennel recipe caught my eye in an issue of Real Simple a few years back. Even my (then) seven year old loved the flavors, so it’s been in full rotation at our house every Summer since!
The recipe is simple to prepare and calls for the removal of the lemon slices before serving. If you know me, you know I’m a big fan of lemons and I’ve read that their peels are good for you – so I make my slices very thin and enjoy the extra zest and color in the final dish.
2 fresh fennel bulbs
1 pint grape tomatoes (I use whatever is growing in my garden. Any small, sweet tomatoes will work.)
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed
Preheat oven to 400° F. Wash, then cut, fennel bulbs in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 6 or 8 pieces. In a large baking dish, combine fennel, tomatoes, garlic, lemon. Drizzle with the oil, add the thyme sprigs and sprinkle with salt and pepper (reserving a pinch or two of each for the salmon). Toss gently to combine and spread the mixture into a single layer. Roast until the fennel is tender – approximately 40 minutes. Season the salmon with the rest of the salt and pepper and add to the top of the veggies in the baking dish. Return the dish to oven until salmon is cooked through – plus or minus 12 minutes – depending on the thickness of your fillets.
This is fresh, light and delicious. Serve with a simple salad or rice. In the mood for something a little heartier? Serve with mashed potatoes.
Want more recipes and ideas for lemons, garlic, tomatoes and fennel? Click the pictures below: