If I had to choose my go-to meal for serving a big crowd when I’m short on time, there’s no question it would be a whole roasted side of salmon. It’s a trick that I picked up in my first job as an event planner for a catering company — we served a side of salmon at almost every single party, and changed up the marinade and garnishes based on the rest of the dishes. Mexican flavors on the menu? Chile-glazed side of salmon with salsa verde. Traditional steakhouse vibe? Serve it up with red onions, herbs, and horseradish cream. It always looked impressive and was always a massive hit.
Now when I’m making salmon for dinners at home, I stick to my tried-and-true cooking time and temp (see the recipe card below) and usually serve it on a big family-style platter in the middle of the table, paired with some great roasted veggie sides. For the Welcome Spring dinner party I hosted last month, I garnished it with citrus of every type and color, from lemons to tangerines to blood oranges, then thinly sliced them and layered all over the top of the salmon in a fish scale pattern for tons of “wow” factor.