My goal with this Roasted Salmon with Butter and Brown Sugar was to come up with an easy and elegant main course that requires little to no effort. I'm talking super easy, pop-in-the-oven kind of effortless. It is my belief that the best kind of entertaining is unfussy and uncomplicated, and this is just that kind of dish. And yet it manages to wow and impress with its good looks and delicious, rich flavor. Who says you can't have it all?
I know what you're thinking....what's the catch? Surely there must be more to it than that. Not really, but I do have a few tips for making sure your Roasted Salmon with Butter and Brown Sugar is perfect every time:
- Choose a nice piece of fresh salmon that is about an inch thick. Finding a nice salmon filet is about 75% of what makes this recipe work. I like to buy two center cut filets (usually weighing in at a pound each) rather than using one long, tapered filet. These center cut pieces are relatively even in thickness and skip that skimpy, thin tail end that always seems to overcook anyway. If you are serving a smaller crowd, simply use one center cut filet and half the amounts of butter and brown sugar.
- For ease and convenience, leave the skin on, both for roasting and serving. Once the salmon is done to your liking, move the whole filet to a serving dish and let your guests help themselves to the succulent salmon. The skin helps keep everything intact and can easily stay behind on the serving dish as your guests lift the salmon flesh off with a serving fork.
- Roast on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The parchment paper will allow you to easily transfer the salmon from the baking sheet to a serving dish without having the skin stick to the pan.
- Season the salmon generously with salt and pepper. Since this is such a simple dish, proper seasoning is important.
- Serve with a tasty sauce. This salmon is absolutely delicious on its own and needs no embellishment. BUT a sauce is always nice, especially for entertaining. Since we are all about the Nordic vibes here, I recommend this easy Creamy Mustard Dill Sauce. It's a perfect pair with the salmon and can be prepared a day ahead of time. Simply reheat when the time comes and serve alongside the salmon. A side of Spicy Pickled Beets is nice here, too.
Put this Roasted Salmon with Butter and Brown Sugar on the menu the next time you have people over. It's an easy and elegant crowd-pleaser that will leave you free to enjoy the time with your guests rather than fussing in the kitchen.
Roasted Salmon with Butter and Brown Sugar
- 1 salmon filet 2- 2 ½ pounds, preferably skin on
- 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into ½ inch cubes
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Rub sugar over salmon. Season with salt and pepper. Dot with butter.
- Bake salmon until it is firm and opaque throughout, about 20 minutes. Serve.