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Recipe by Tim Campbell, aquatic invasive species outreach specialist at Wisconsin Sea Grant
Says Tim, “This is an easy spin on a classic BLT that makes it a bit heartier and dinner-worthy. I first tried a salmon BLT at a restaurant and knew I had to try to copy it at home.”
Farm-raised Atlantic salmon fillets, one per sandwich (Note: Wisconsin options include Superior Fresh Atlantic salmon, which is farmed in Hixton, Wisconsin, and available at many locations, including Festival Foods and Metcalfe’s Markets. You can also try Bodin Fisheries’ Lake Superior lake trout for a wild-caught option, available at Willy Street Co-op locations in the Madison area.)
Bacon (1-2 strips per sandwich)
Lettuce (any type) or, if you’re feeling fancy, arugula
Bread of your choice: I like a soft roll, but just choose your favorite!
Preheat oven to 275 F
Oil the salmon, season with pepper and lemon zest, and then place it skin side down on a baking sheet, cast iron skillet, or broiler pan
Place bacon on a baking sheet
Place both the salmon and bacon in oven for approximately 20 minutes (the bacon will likely need longer; it can be finished under the broiler once the salmon is removed)
Check the fish for doneness: You’re looking for the flesh to turn opaque and for it to just start being able to be flaked off with a knife. It’ll cook a little more once you remove it from the oven.
Assemble your sandwich with all of the fixings you like! Lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon–knock yourself out!
Slow roasting/baking fish is great because it makes it less likely you will overcook your fish. Moist, almost buttery salmon is awesome. Dry, overcooked and chewy salmon—not so much. Baking it longer at a lower temperature increases my success rate.
This recipe could work with any salmon, but Wisconsin farm-raised Atlantic salmon or Lake Superior lake trout both work well here. Both are fresh, local and delicious.
Once you get the baking down, the same general technique can be used for all sorts of fish main dishes. Just mix up the seasoning and what you serve it with. Some examples:
Season fish with Old Bay or potlatch seasoning, bake and then add to some lettuce. Top with your favorite dressing and you have a great salad!
Rub fish with tandoori seasoning and place it on top of some curried vegetables and rice or potatoes for an Indian-inspired twist.