Barbara’s Best Salmon Bake

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This elegant and easy recipe was originally created by my friend Barbara Kraft. It is a no- fail recipe, and I always slightly alter it depending on my mood, what is growing in my garden or what is in my refrigerator or pantry. Her basic recipe calls for a cream cheese/ feta/herb/garlic mixture. Here have added fresh artichokes. Other options include a choice of chopped sun dried tomatoes or olives, or capers. The fish always tastes moist and the filling is creamy and delicious.

1 salmon fillet 2-3 lbs.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, freshly ground pepper
1 cup cream cheese at room temperature
Chopped herbs
2 Tablespoons cup sour cream
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 cup chopped herbs (basil, parseley, dill, or taragon)
2 fresh cleaned large artichoke hearts, chopped finely (optional)
Sprigs of fresh herbs and edible flowers (pansies or borage) for garnish

Preheat oven to 375.

Coat a foil lined baking sheet with 2 tbs. olive oil. Mix the stuffing together.

Rinse and dry the fillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reserve half of the chopped fresh herbs.

Laying the fillet down parallel to your work surface, create a long pocket on one side of the fillet (skin side down) using a sharp kitchen knife. Be careful not to slice through to the other side of the fillet. Transfer the fillet to the prepared baking sheet. Press the stuffing inside the pocket of the fillet. Roll the stuffed salmon like a log and using kitchen twine, tie the salmon into portions that will be sliced where the twine is tied. Try to keep the stuffing inside the pocket or it will ooze out when cooked.
Sprinkle the remaining chopped fresh artichoke heart on top of the stuffed fillet. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the stuffed salmon in the center of the oven for 20-30 minutes until salmon’s internal temperature reaches 135. Remove from oven, remove the twine and garnish with herbs and flowers.

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