For the compound butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon Baharat or other spice blend
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the salmon:
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound salmon fillets (typically 2 fillets)
To make the compound butter, stir together the butter, spice blend, and salt in a small bowl until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate until the salmon is ready.
You can also make the butter ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer. If making ahead, transfer the compound butter to a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Roll into a log, about five inches long and one inch in diameter. Twist the ends closed and secure with kitchen twine or rubber bands. Refrigerate for up to one week. Compound butter can also be frozen for up to a month.
To cook the salmon, turn on the broiler and position an oven rack a few inches below. Place a large (12-inch) skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat, and coat the bottom of the pan generously with olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, gently place the salmon in the pan, leaving at least an inch of space between the fillets. The fish should sizzle on contact.
Do not move the fillets once they are in the pan. As the fish cooks, the fillets will turn from translucent to opaque. Allow the salmon to sear until the opaque color has traveled about one third of the way up the fillets and you are just beginning to see a bit of golden brown color around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes.
Position the skillet under the broiler. Broil until the fish is opaque and beginning to brown slightly on top, about three minutes. The fish should still yield slightly to the touch when you remove it from the oven, but should flake easily with a fork. If you like, you can use an instant read thermometer to check the fish for doneness. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, which should be measured at the thickest part of the fillet.
Cut the fillets in half and serve, topping each piece with a small pat of the compound butter.
As with any fish, buy the best salmon you can find and afford. For more information about best practices for buying salmon, take a look here: Salmon Fact Sheet f