The Salmon Were Running


It’s a fishing term – “the Salmon are running.” I think that’s what they were doing when we were in Oregon. On the night that I cooked dinner I asked Barry if he could get the freshest, wildest, local fish for me to cook. He brought Salmon and I cooked it. Fresh, wild, huge, delicious, Salmon. So pretty. Years and years ago when I was still a fish-eater, my friend Mary Hartzell made this recipe one night when we were over at her house for dinner. It has since become a family favorite – for special occasions.


Preheat over to 300 degrees


A big Salmon filet. You want the freshest, largest, wildest Salmon you can find. Never mind how much it costs…. Trust me on this.

Two onions either Wala wala or Maui or sweet white, etc. – not purple/red – very, very thinly sliced

A handful of candied ginger sliced thick

A handful of dried cranberries

A bunch of fresh dill sprigs

¼ cup dry white wine


A huge piece of ‘heavy’ aluminum foil. If you don’t have it then improvise with the regular stuff.

Lay out a long piece of foil on a big cookie sheet. Lay down a bed of very thinly sliced onion Sprinkle over it a half of a handful of dried cranberries Sprinkle over that a half of a handful of sliced candied ginger Lay down some dill sprigs Lay the whole big, beautiful fish on top. Over the fish lay down a blanket of thinly sliced onion Then the other half of the dried cranberries And the other half of the sliced candied ginger And a few more sprigs of dill. Pour the wine over the top Sprinkle the whole thing with salt and pepper Make a tent with the foil over the fish and seal it so that the fish is encased inside.

Put the package on the cookie sheet into the pre-heated 300 degree oven and cook for a kind of long time. Maybe check after 35-minutes or so. The fish should be moist and a pretty salmon color, and NOT dried out.

Take the fish from the over and slide the whole fish onto your biggest most beautiful platter. It might be a bit awkward getting the fish off of the foil and onto the platter but don’t despair. Move slowly. Be patient. You can do it – the result will be worth it. Decorate the platter with more fresh dill sprigs. Take a photo when you’ve got it on the platter. It’s an impressive sight. AND it’s truly delicious.

We served this with some marinated grilled tofu for the non-fish eaters (that would be me and me alone), potatoes from the garden, and lightly steamed green beans from the garden with a little butter melted on top. And of course wine. The dessert was that delicious blackberry cake that Mary made. What a treat – the whole thing.

One thought on “The Salmon Were Running

  1. Disa says:

    I sometimes make this when I can get good salmon. It suprises everyone who tates it! So delicious, so pretty, so easy, and, yes- impressive!

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