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Garlic Butter Bloomin' Salmon

Posted by Kira DeRito on

If you've ever had a meal at the chain restaurant known as The Outback Steakhouse, you've probably heard of their 'blooming onion'.  It's a large sweet onion that's sliced and sort of fanned open like a flower, then breaded and deep fried.  Perfectly delicious, and perfectly awful for the health and wellness of a basic human (almost 2K calories and 160g fat per onion - yeeikes!)  But - when Tony came up with the idea of a 'blooming salmon' last week I thought it sounded genius.  It turns a side of sustainable, nourishing wild salmon into the perfect finger food - great for watching the Seahawks win their next game!

So the idea is the same - cut/slice the fish until you have the whole thing into finger-grabbing sized pieces, and then strategically place a couple of butter knives underneath it during the cooking process to fan out the fish a little bit like a flower.  We're getting a little indulgent with our topping (garlic butter - oh yeah!) but we can afford it because we're pouring it over wild salmon.  Yay!  

~serves 4 for dinner, up to 12 for a party platter~


  • 1 side wild sockeye or silver salmon (around 2 pounds)
  • 4 T butter
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • tartar sauce and/or parsley for optional garnish

Turn your oven on to pre-heat at 375 and get out your salmon.  Make sure the pin bones are removed (we can do this for you!) and then slice the fish into about one inch cubes - BUT -  don't cut all the way through the skin, just down to the skin.  (We can also do the cutting for you - just ask!) 

Line a cookie sheet with foil, and lay two butter knives down.  Place the fish on top of the knives and then sort of fuss with it until you get some good separation in the slicing - make it bloom! 

Generously salt and pepper the fish, then melt the butter in a little bowl.  Mince the garlic, add to the butter, then stir and pour evenly over the fish.  Slide your sheet pan into the oven and set your timer for 18 minutes.  When the time is up you'll see the white fat of the salmon has cooked into the slices and your kitchen will be smelling like garlic butter nirvana! 

Let the fish rest for a couple of minutes, then squeeze half of a fresh lemon over the top of all of it and serve either right on the pan (your fellow diners can either grab a piece with their fingers or if you want to get fancy - set out some fun little cocktail forks...) or you can plate the individual pieces and serve with a side of tartar sauce, a lemon wedge and some parsley.  Don't forget the napkins and... enjoy!

p.s. I happened to have some fresh basil that I'm trying to use up and used a fresh basil leaf as a 'wrapper' of sorts for a few chunks of this salmon and Oh. My. it was delicious!

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