Wood-Roasted Salmon in a Wood-Fired Oven
Usually I grill salmon on a cast iron grill positioned over hot coals in our wood-fired oven which is always delicious, but the following Wood-Roasted salmon cooked by means of direct or indirect heat in our Forno Bravo Casa2G90 wood-fired oven resulted in a wonderfully moist and flavorful salmon.
We fired up our oven using dry hard woods about an hour prior to baking to give the oven a little extra heat retention. The Casa2G90 oven has a 36″ diameter oven floor so keep in mind that each oven is different in size and mass and may require different amounts of time to maintain the desired temperatures and results. One simply has to get to know their own oven and pay close attention to temperatures.If grilling directly over hot coals, we usually allow for about 40-50 minutes to build a nice bed of good size coals, but as I said, I like the extra heat retention when baking as it tends to sear in the flavors that much more with the wonderful heat convection yet keeping the fish moist. Your fish is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees. Beyond that you will dry out the fish. After allowing the coals to subside somewhat I pushed the coals to the side to allow for a little extra wood flavor and more direct heat but you can remove the coals altogether if you prefer as noted below. Below is the recipe I used from “The Ultimate Wood-Fired Oven Book”. The difference being I baked a large single fillet of wild salmon rather than separate smaller fillets (this would also be good) and I didn’t need the amount of time required in our Forno Bravo oven as in the original recipe. The original recipe suggests 15-20 minutes, but this would have been much too long for the fillet shown here and our oven for some reason. I did maintain 450 degrees in the oven consistently. Part of the faster cook time may also be due to the lower fat content of wild salmon which is also a healthier choice than farm raised. I’d be interested in other people’s experience and knowledge in regards to fat content of fish as it relates to cooking time. The end result was a fabulous salmon meal.
36 ounces of salmon fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped green celery leaves (the younger leaves are best)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/2 cup salted capers (rinsed under running water and then soaked in bowl of cold water for 30 minutes)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 3 lemons
1 lemon sliced
Original recipe: Place the salmon on an oven platter or shallow baking dish. I used an aluminum heavy platter. Spoon 1/3 of the olive and herb mixture over the fish. Add lemon juice to the olive and herb mixture and set aside. You can bake the salmon with direct heat (in an oven where the fire has been moved to one side) or indirect heat (where the embers and fire have been removed). Bake the salmon in a 450 degree F oven around 10 minutes, longer if the fillets are very thick or if the oven isn’t holding as much heat.
Remove from the oven and place on a serving platter. Add the remaining olive mixture to the baking dish and put the dish back into the oven for about 1-2 minutes to combine with the fish juices.
Pour the olive sauce over the salmon, sprinkle the rest of the parsley on top, and serve with a slice of lemon.
Excellent article from “The World’s Healthiest Foods” non-profit organization: Is There Any Nutritional Difference Between Wild-Caught and Farm-Raised Fish? Is One Type Better For Me Than Another?