In general Rich (my husband) likes the way I cook. This doesn’t mean there aren’t things he’d change, though luckily he’s smart enough to keep those thoughts to himself. He listens attentively to my excited rants on lentils and split peas, which is kind, because I know for a fact he, like a lot of men, wants more meat. I’ve upped my meat game recently so he nuanced his request – salmon please. I agree, we should be eating it weekly because it’s one of the healthiest foods, but pregnancy has thrown me way off salmon twice now and it’s fallen out of the rotation.
Cooking salmon incorrectly is a fear of mine; I do believe that salmon, asparagus and brown rice was the first meal I cooked for Rich when we were dating. It was my first time cooking salmon (I was 22) and I served it waaay (and I mean waaaaayy) undercooked. I think we just laughed and put it back in the oven but I was mortified.
Baking and broiling salmon are the two routes I typically use – generally with fish you want to tread lightly since it’s delicate. Baking at a low temperature ensures it will stay tender and the panko on top gives the crunch you would typically get from pan-frying or high heat cooking. The ingredients are few and really it’s a simple dish, but it’s flavorful, balanced and great for a weeknight. If whole grain mustard isn’t in your fridge but dijon is, you’re likely fine to use that (but please, put down the bright yellow stuff).
Crispy Mustard Baked Salmon
4 wild caught salmon filets
3 tbsp. whole grain mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/4 c. sliced basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place salmon filets skin side down on foil or paper.
2. Mix mustard and honey together in a small bowl and mix breadcrumbs and oil together in a second small bowl.
3. Divide mustard mixture evenly between filets and top with breadcrumb mixture.
4. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, to taste (just a pinch of each).
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily and feels fairly firm to the touch.
6. Serve, topped with basil.