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Excerpted from COOKING IN REAL LIFE: Delicious & Doable Recipes for Every Day. Copyright @ 2024 by Lidey Heuck. Photography Copyright © 2024 by Dane Tashima. Reproduced by permission of Simon Element, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.

Recipe: Slow-Roasted Salmon With Lemony Leeks & Asparagus


Roast your salmon slowly for a flavor that delights the senses and pairs beautifully with lemony leeks and fresh asparagus.

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After spending seven years as Ina Garten’s assistant, Hudson Valley-based cook, food writer, and recipe developer Lidey Heuck built a loyal following of her own with the easy, flavor-packed recipes she posts to her blog, LideyLikes. Here’s a sampling from her new cookbook, Cooking in Real Life, which is all about creating great meals for any occasion—from busy weeknights to holiday celebrations.

Lidey Heuck

Slow-Roasted Salmon With Lemony Leeks & Asparagus

Recipe by Lidey HeuckCourse: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium


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Slow roasting is a wonderfully forgiving method of cooking salmon. The fish comes out incredibly tender, and because the oven never gets super hot, it’s a lot harder to overcook. In this recipe, I start by roasting leeks and asparagus on a sheet pan and then make some room for the salmon. The pan goes back into the oven until the fish is just cooked through, and then I finish it off with a sprinkle of lemon zest, black pepper, and lots of fresh dill. Salmon perfection, with a built-in side!


  • 2 medium leeks, dark green leaves trimmed

  • 1 lemon, very thinly sliced

  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2-pound salmon fillet (see Tip), skin removed

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch pieces

  • Flaky sea salt, for serving

  • Fresh dill, for serving

  • Grated lemon zest, for serving


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Thinly slice the leek crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Place leeks in a large bowl of water, swish them around to loosen any grit, then lift them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander to drain. Pat the leeks dry with a clean kitchen towel and spread them out on a sheet pan.
  • Add the lemon slices to the sheet pan. Drizzle the leek and lemon with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  • Transfer to the oven and roast until the leeks are tender and lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes, tossing twice throughout.
  • Meanwhile, pat the salmon dry and set aside at room temperature.
  • Add the asparagus to the sheet pan along with another 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss well, then push the vegetables to the edges of the pan to create space for the salmon. Place the salmon on the pan, rub all over with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • Return to the oven and roast until the salmon registers 120–125°F on an instant-read thermometer and flakes easily with a fork, 15–25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. (Because the salmon is cooked so gently in this method, it may still look slightly translucent on top—that’s OK!)
  • Transfer the salmon and vegetables to a platter, arranging the vegetables around the fish. Sprinkle the salmon with flaky salt, dill, and lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • TIP › If you use a center-cut piece of salmon, it will be cooked evenly the whole way through. If you use a more tapered piece, the ends will be slightly more well done than the center. Both work great, but I often ask for a tapered piece if I know some people prefer their salmon on the well-done side (hi, Mom!).
Cooking in Real Life

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