All About That Sauce

Greetings dinner makers! I want to get right down to business here and tell you about this salmon we made the other night. It was so good, so exactly the fresh, healthy hit I needed on a Sunday night, after a stretch of soups and stews and braisey, warm-your-bones kinda dishes. 

The salmon preparation could not be more basic — it requires only salt, pepper, olive oil, and a hot oven — but here is where things get exciting: The sauce. And when I say sauce, I don’t mean, like, a béchamel or a Romesco or Grandma’s 8-hour Sunday gravy. I mean the most un-intimidating, quick-whisking of a few things you probably don’t even have to shop for: plain yogurt, Dijon mustard, dill (or whatever fresh herb you’ve got), prepared horseradish, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. In fact, as I type this, I feel like I should reframe the whole recipe and call it Yogurt with Savory Mix-ins or something. Because that’s what it feels like I’m doing when I make it.

I’m addicted to the way the tangy, herby coolness of this sauce contrasts with the crispy, roasty depth of the fish. We’ve been making some version of the salmon for years (always an excellent sign) and usually serve it with spicy roasted potatoes and a green salad. But in case you’ve read this far and decided somehow that you want an even easier version, I wrote about another tried-and-true method: Salmon cooked in parchment paper (en papillote for the sticklers), where you wrap up each individual fish piece with the greens and the potatoes like a little present, instead of cooking everything separately.

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