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Vital Choice at Home: Roasted Salmon with Herbed Crème Fraîche
Simple salmon (plus a few tasty side salads) make a quick and delicious summer meal.

Welcome to Vital Choice at Home!

This series features me, Michelle – a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains – my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood and lots of regular home cooking.

(Click here to learn more about me, below.)

I want to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

As you can imagine, I experiment a lot on my family, looking for simple preparations that highlight the gorgeous quality of Vital Choice seafood.

So this week we experimented twice with one of our absolute favorites: Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, in the Vital Choice recipe for Roasted Salmon with Crème Fraîche.

The weather has cooled slightly, so I felt like it was time to try a roast salmon with crème fraîche – a delightfully simple option that allows you to capitalize on what's abundant in your herb garden, farmer's market, or fresh grocer.

"The best ever!” – Roasted salmon on crème fraîche
So that you get the full measure of how yummy the following salmon recipe is, let me tell you the comments I heard around the lunch table today: "The best ever!,” "Absolutely perfect,” and "Seriously yummy, Mom!”

If you're looking for a quick and easy meal that will net you similar raves, read on.

This meal was largely inspired by the (over) abundance of fresh herbs, both in our garden and at the farmer's market.

I was looking for a simple salmon recipe that would showcase the richness of the salmon, balanced out with something cool and bright.

We tried the roast salmon two ways, and the second was the hands-down favorite.

First, I made an extremely simple sauce of crème fraîche blended with a variety of fresh herbs. Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream, in that it's a slightly tangy, creamy sauce made with fermenting bacteria similar to what you find in yogurt.

While you can easily substitute sour cream, full-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt in this preparation, I recommend giving crème fraîche a try!

It's thicker, has a slightly less tangy flavor, and has a slightly higher fat content that's a great "vehicle” for your fresh herbs.

In the morning, I blended the crème fraîche with a few tablespoons of fresh, chopped herbs and a pinch of salt, and left it in t
he fridge for later.

Please feel free to use whatever fresh herb combinations appeal to you – we tried a blend of regular thyme and lemon thyme on the first round, then a blend of dill and chives that was out of this world.

The dill/chive combination was the absolute crowd favorite! While you can definitely make this with dried herbs, I'd recommend you stick with fresh if you can find them – there's no comparison in terms of flavor and color in your crème fraîche.

To make the salmon, I preheated the oven to 400º and lined a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can use skin-on or skinless salmon for this recipe.

I've used both to identical results – I chose skinless fillets this time because I think the 4 oz. petite fillets are the perfect size for lunch! 
Lightly coat your salmon with a bit of oil, salt and pepper, and roast for 8-12 minutes to your preferred level of doneness. We roasted ours for 10 minutes and it was perfect – flavorful, flaky and still very moist in the center.

Please don't overcook your salmon … I'd check it frequently after 8 minutes or so. I served this two different ways, and hands-down everyone preferred the salmon atop a spoonful of crème fraîche, rather than with the sauce on top.

That way, you can get as much or as little herbed crème fraîche as you like with each bite. It's amazing to me that this small change in how the salmon was served made a difference for my not-too-picky diners.

Make-ahead side dishes round out this simple meal
As you can see, I served this wonderful, summery salmon with two equally summer side dishes, both of which I pre-made and had chilling in the fridge.

The first was a very quick and easy potato salad, made with lovely little waxy potatoes from the organic farm stand, boiled, then tossed when tender with a bit of oil, a splash or two of white wine vinegar, and a bit of my leftover dill and chives.

A hint of Dijon mustard would have been a great addition had I remembered it. I also pulled together a quick summer salad of chopped fresh cucumber, fresh feta cheese, chopped kalamata olives and a bit of red onion.

To finish I seasoned with a bit of white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Both of these were made a day in advance, so to prepare lunch I had to just pull salads and herbed crème fraîche out of the fridge, quickly roast the salmon and serve.

I'm feeling triumphant about my roast salmon with herbed crème fraîche – so, I wonder … what have you made recently that got a RAVE review? 

Please share your no-fail Vital Choice recipes with me – I'm looking for more great ideas! Send me a note and I'll give it a try!

My rating: 4 out of 4 stars


A Note from Michelle
Like you, I have a passion for beautiful-yet-healthy food that's easy to prepare.

While I do love making the occasional "fancy” dinner, most of the time I'm short on time and have a house full of hungry people who want to eat NOW.

I'm not a professional chef – I'm just a busy mom who loves to cook and who's focused on that intersection of healthy and delicious.

I want this series to feature the products and preparations you're curious about.

Have a suggestion? Question? Recipe you want me to test?

Email me and help to shape this series.

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