Salmon with Thyme and Three-Lemon Crème Fraîche Recipe

Kerry Saretsky

This is the perfect light meal to counter Christmas pound-packing. A simple roast slab of salmon, slow-baked on a bed of lemon and thyme, is served hot or room temperature with a whisk-together sauce of crème fraîche, fresh thyme, and lemon in three forms: lemon zest, lemon juice, and minced preserved lemon. It's a light, bright homage to citrus season.

Note: Preserved lemon is a Moroccan ingredient that can be found in most specialty middle eastern or Northern African grocers.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 3 to 4 servings

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  • 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs, plus 2 teaspoons picked thyme leaves

  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from the other half

  • 3 to 4 large boneless skinless salmon filets, about 4 to 6 ounces each

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon (optional, see note)

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place thyme sprigs and sliced lemon in a pile in the center of the baking sheet large enough to hold the salmon. Rub salmon on all sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place salmon on top of thyme/lemon bed and transfer to oven. Roast until the internal temperature registers 125 to 130°F on an instant read thermometer for medium-rare or 140°F for medium, 15 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest at least 5 minutes, or allow to cool to room temperature.

  2. Stir together the thyme leaves, lemon juice, lemon zest, preserved lemon (if using), and crème fraîche. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the salmon either hot or at room temperature with the lemon sauce.

This Recipe Appears In

  • French in a Flash: Salmon with Thyme and Three-Lemon Crème Fraîche
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
380 Calories
30g Fat
1g Carbs
26g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 380
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 38%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 351mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 6mg 32%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 466mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)