[cooking] Sockeye salmon in zucchini scales

Had a couple people over for dinner last night. I planned to cook a large filet of AK sockeye salmon and wanted to do something special with it. I saw an episode of one of Anthony Bourdain's shows where he's in Lyon and is served fish cooked in puff pastry that is shaped like a fish, with half-moon scales cut into the outside of the dough before cooking to look like scales. Pretty but time consuming. I also found pictures of smoked salmon, covered cream cheese and cucumber slices layered to look like scales. Pretty but more of a brunchy thing. So I decided to use zucchini slices for scales and bake it.

Sockeye salmon wrapped in zucchini scales. Ready to bake.

There's no recipe that I've found online for this, but it really is easy. All you need:

1 salmon filet
1 small zucchini
salt, pepper, olive oil, dill

Salt, pepper, olive oil the meat of the filet. Use a mandolin to slice the zucchini consistently paper-thin. I salted the slices a bit and let them sweat out some moisture before using them so they were more pliable. Then start layering from the tail up. Sprinkle more salt, pepper, olive oil and dill weed. Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 min. That's it.

It looks impressive but it's simple and fast. Easily a weeknight supper. I think the zucchini scales helped keep the meat more moist while it baked but next time I do this, I think it might be nice to add something between the salmon and zucchini. Not cream cheese, obviously, but... a lemon-caper aioli? Or would that completely melt away while it's baking? It thought it could have used some sort of sauce/richness. Of course, I could always have made the aioli and served on the side at the table.

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