Roasted Tomatillo Salmon 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes May 3, 2017

In Mexican cooking, writes Marcela Valladolid in her new cookbook, tomatillos are typically reserved for salsas. But the small ones are great (and sweet) when simply roasted, as they are here, with this tender salmon.

Serve with white rice, or with roasted smashed fingerling potatoes.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds small tomatillos
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 chive stems
  • 2 stems cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • One 2-pound piece Atlantic salmon fillet (skin on), about 1 inch thick at the center


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Discard the tomatillo husks. Rinse the fruit to get rid of sticky residue, then cut them into 1/2 inch thick rounds — trimming any stems as you go — and place them in a mixing bowl as you work. Cut the red onion into very thin slices (to yield about 2 cups), then add to the mixing bowl.

Cut the lemon into 6 equal slices, discarding any seeds. Chop the chive and cilantro leaves and tender stems.

Add the oil to the mixing bowl, then season with a good pinch each of the salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly and incorporate. Spread the mixture on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Lay the salmon over the tomatillo mixture, then season the fillet lightly with salt and pepper. Lay the lemon slices on the salmon, then scatter the chives and cilantro evenly over the top. Roast (middle rack) for 20 minutes, or until the interior temperature of the salmon registers 120 to 125 degrees.

Carefully transfer the salmon to a platter, discarding any skin that remains on the baking sheet. Increase the oven to 475 degrees and return the baking sheet with the tomatillo mixture to the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the onions and tomatillos begin to crisp around the edges.

Serve the tomatillos and red onion slices alongside the salmon, warm.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from “Casa Marcela: Recipes and Stories From My Life in the Californias,” by Marcela Valladolid (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).

Tested by Kara Elder and Bonnie Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at