Grilled Salmon with Garlic-Basil Butter for Easy Entertaining

May 14, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

This is a salmon recipe I developed about 10 years ago - at least and was my favorite go-to recipe for salmon for many years. There's nothing terribly fancy about it, but it's just so delicous and moist that I continue to go back to it. I was lucky enough to find some beautiful wild King salmon, which I think has just about the best flavor, but just get your favorite type. The recipe below is just for 1 salmon filet since my husband is very allergic to salmon, but it can obviously be expanded with ease to feed a crowd. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • 1 salmon filet about 1/2 pound
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 large basil leaves, chiffonade cut
  • salt and pepper
  1. Set the salmon out on the counter and salt fairly well. Let it come to room temp.
  2. Heat up the grill as you want the grill to be nice and hot. I have a perforated grilling tray that I lightly oil and place on the grill over direct heat. I do this mainly for my husband who is allergic to salmon so that the salmon never rests directly on the grill, but it also makes it oh-so-easy to quickly slide off direct heat if needed.
  3. Melt butter with the olive oil over medium-low heat on the stove in a small container. Add the garlic and lightly saute. You want to flavor the oil with the garlic and soften the garlic, but not to the degree the garlic starts to brown.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Set aside with a basting brush.
  5. Dry off any moisture on the salmon. Re-salt the salmon and sprinkle a bunch of ground black pepper on it. Place on the hot grill tray over direct heat, skin side down. Baste the top of the salmon with the garlic-basil-butter. Close the lid of the grill and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes or until it's all puffed up and just starting to brown around the edges. Carefully flip it with a large spatula. With the spatula or a knife, lift off the skin. The skin should be stiff and easy to lift right up. If not, it didn't cook long enough on that side. Baste it with the butter sauce. Close the lid for another 2-3 minutes. Flip one last time. Remove any shriveled, browned basil and rebaste. Cook with the lid up for about 2 minutes and remove to a plate.
  6. Enjoy!!
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  • Fran McGinty
    Fran McGinty
  • suzan
  • lastnightsdinner
  • AntoniaJames
  • TheWimpyVegetarian

15 Reviews

Marcellene July 6, 2017
My family of 4 teenage boys and one hungry husband went nuts over this! It is easy and absolutely fantastic.
Cindie December 28, 2013
Great Simple salmon recipe - I added a little lime juice to the sauce
Fran M. March 27, 2011
Thank you so much. I will make it home made from now on. I was surprised that you blanched it briefly I would never have known that I am so glad you shared.
Fran M. March 26, 2011
How do you make basil oil without worrying about it going bad?
TheWimpyVegetarian March 27, 2011
There are probably a number of ways of doing it successfully, but here's what I do: I blanch basil in boiling water for about 15 seconds, drain it and press out all the water. I then place it in a food processor small bowl and pour olive oil on top of it and whirl it around like crazy for about 15 seconds. I use a 2-to-1 ratio of basil to oil (2 cups of basil that I start with to 1 cup of oil). Then I let it "macerate" for a couple hours. Then I strain it using a couple layers of damp cheesecloth to strain out the solid basil, leaving only a smooth oil behind. I've been able to keep it in a cool, fairly dark place in my kitchen in an airtight container with my other oils for as long as 2-3 weeks. It might last longer, but I tend to use it quite a bit when I have it around. I'm sure you could store it even longer in the refrigerator and just let come to room temp before using. Hope that helps!
Fran M. March 26, 2011
I did let the fish get to room temp. and I used a basil olive oil I just bought. It was great!
TheWimpyVegetarian March 26, 2011
Yum, I love basil oil. I started making my own now with basil that I don't think I'll use before it totally wilts. It's so great in salad dressings too. I'm glad bringing the fish to room temp worked!
Fran M. March 26, 2011
I made this last night, it was a toss up between this and Hoisin BBQ Salmon with Asian Vinaigrette. My boyfriend likes Salmon just the way it is, but we eat it often. I am ready to play with it. I figured your basil Salmon was a baby step for him and I was right, He loved it and I really loved it. Thank you for sharing.
TheWimpyVegetarian March 26, 2011
Yay!!! I'm so glad you and you boyfriend liked it so much! Thanks for letting me know how it worked out for you!
Fran M. March 25, 2011
I was thinking of making this and was curious about letting the salmon come to room temp. I thought fish spoiled easily so I have always been afraid to let it come to room temp. Am I being silly to ask if this is ok?
TheWimpyVegetarian March 25, 2011
No question, especially if it's about food safety, is silly. I don't know that fish spoils any faster than meat. I'm lucky enough to easily get fresh fish and have never had a problem. I always bring it to room temp so that it cooks evenly, but if you're concerned at all, the recipe will work fine starting with chilled salmon fresh from the fridge. Thanks for asking and I hope you like it. I'd love to hear your thoughts after you've tried it!
suzan July 13, 2010
excellent. prepared my salmon this way last night and even the kids liked it (it helps to have them harvest the herbs from the garden and chop the garlic... then they are vested in what is happening with their food). i paired it with toasted almond quinoa and simple steamed green beens. thumbs-up from everyone!
TheWimpyVegetarian July 18, 2010
Hey thanks so much for the feedback suzan! I'm so glad you and your family liked it! It's an old favorite here - great idea to have the kids help and I love what you paired the salmon with. Such a healthy dinner!
lastnightsdinner May 14, 2010
Lovely! Flavored butters are such a great secret weapon to dress up so many kinds of dishes, and this sounds great.
AntoniaJames May 14, 2010
Wow, this looks so good. Basil and salmon pair well, but you almost never see them together. Saved to my recipes!! ;o)