Fish when heated congeals forming a white layer of albumen, which ruins the taste. So brining is essential before roasting/grilling or even baking fish.
Cut a whole center-cut salmon fillet (1-1/2 to 2 pounds) into four pieces.
4 (6 to 8 ounce) center-cut salmon fillets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons beaten egg
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (or dried flakes)
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or tarragon)
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Dissolve 5 tablespoons sea salt into 2 quarts of water in large container. Submerge salmon in brine and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove salmon from brine and pat dry with paper towels, and set aside.
- While salmon is brining, melt butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add crumbs and black pepper to taste; cook, stirring frequently until crumbs are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and let cool completely. Stir in egg and thyme until combined. Stir basil, mustard and mayonnaise together in a separate bowl.
- Set wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. Place 12 by 8-inch piece of aluminum foil on wire rack and coat lightly with cooking oil spray. Space fillets evenly, skin side down, on foil. Using a spoon, spread the basil mixture evenly over top of each fillet. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly over top of each fillet, pressing with your fingers to ensure adherence. Bake until center of thickest part of fillet is still translucent when checked with the tip of a paring knife, registering 125 degrees, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer salmon to serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley.