Baked Salmon with Dijon

Chinook Salmon

Chinook Salmon

By Cat, June 2014  (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: 1. Salmon, Poached in Court Bouillon with 2. Mustard Sauce

When I was growing up here in NW Montana – more than 500 miles inland, we had abundant landlocked Kokanee salmon in Flathead Lake. Fishing was a big part of our economy (after farms and lumber). In the fall, the Kokanee swam up the rivers to spawn. (Photo, below, from Wikimedia Commons)

Salmon leaping Willamette Falls

Salmon leaping Willamette Falls

The Swan River here in Bigfork, has a small dam a mile upstream from the town; the salmon would try, try, try and try again to leap over the dam to continue their migration. Many would make it, either by jumping or by moving up the fish ladder. But many more were caught by fishermen with snagging equipment – the only time snagging was legal here. These fish were not good to eat fresh, but OMG they were so wonderful when smoked. Unfortunately, “well-meaning” human intervention caused the loss of our salmon fishery.

Now we have to import our salmon from Alaska and Canada, and it is wild salmon season once again! I wait for this all winter, as I avoid farmed salmon. My favorite is sockeye later in the season, but any wild salmon is delicious.

Baked Salmon with Dijon

In Scandinavia, salmon is often poached, then served with mustard sauce (similar to what I prepare for my Christmas Eve celebration). This recipe is a quick twist on that tradition.

This recipe is adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen (1). The original serves 4; I have adapted recipe to serve 2.

Ingredients and Equipment

  • two 6-oz wild salmon filets (or one 12-oz filet)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp mild olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, minced and crushed
  • ¼ tsp Unrefined sea salt
  • 2 – 4 slices lemon
  • Equipment
  • Rimmed baking pan
  • Parchment
  • small bowl
  • Brush


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking dish with parchment (to save yourself a lot of scrubbing later). 
  2. Chop the parsley and place in bowl with dijon, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Mince garlic, sprinkle with the salt, and press to a pulp with the side of a wide knife; scrape into bowl and mix well.
  3. Lay salmon filets on lined baking dish, skin side down.
  4. Generously brush top and sides of salmon with the sauce and top with fresh lemon slices.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until just cooked through. Don’t over-cook to avoid drying out the fish.
  6. Remove from oven, carefully lift from the parchment and serve.

Serving suggestions


6/1/14: Made half-recipe (one serving), using wild chinook salmon; I did not remove the skin from the filet. Looks lovely going into oven at 8:05 PM. Out of oven at 8:20 PM. Fish lifted easily off its skin, leaving skin on the parchment. Fish was perfectly done (very slightly rare in center of thickest part) and flavor is wonderfully lemony with the sweetness of the garlic.

Served with salad of fresh greens and radishes from my garden, with my Balsamic & Basil Vinaigrette and feta cheese; baked acorn squash; cooked beet; and braised brussels sprouts.


  1. Natasha’s Kitchen recipe (

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