February 20, 2018

Mustard-Crusted Salmon

I am all about the quick and easy dinners right now. I recognize my college diet of frozen pizza, delivery pizza, and pasta aren't ideal, so I love when I have quick, easy, and healthy recipes on hand. I frequently make salmon, but that's usually just seasoning it and throwing it in a pan. There are so many other simple but delicious ways to make salmon that don't take much more time, and this is one of them. A dollop of roasted garlic dijonnaise (just a fancy word for mustard and mayonnaise) and a sprinkling of crispy panko elevate a regular piece of salmon into a stunning dinner without sacrificing all your calories for the day.

The only time-consuming part of this dish is roasting the garlic. Fortunately, all that entails is breaking a head of garlic into cloves, seasoning them, and popping them in the oven for a while. The sharp garlic flavor mellows into sweeter notes, and the soft roasted cloves blend seamlessly into the dijonnaise. I will eat roasted garlic on anything, so I'll typically make a bunch of it just to have on hand.

The dijonnaise consists of mustard and mayonnaise as well as a splash of Worcestershire and all that lovely roasted garlic. Yes, this recipe does call for a whole head of garlic, but roasting it cooks it down and gets rid of that astringent flavor, so it's not as much as you'd think. If you're still concerned, add a few cloves at a time until you get the right flavor.

Once your dijonnaise is to your liking, just spread some onto the fish and give it a handful of panko. Panko work so much better here than regular breadcrumbs because they're so much more crunchy. I toss them in a bit of oil to make sure they get extra crispy and golden. Depending on the thickness of your salmon, it should cook through in less than 15 minutes and the breadcrumbs won't burn. The dijonnaise infuses the fish with tons of flavor and keeps it moist and juicy while the panko's crunch adds textural contrast. This dish goes with all sorts of side dishes, making it a great addition to your weeknight dinner lineup.

1 Head Garlic
2 T Olive Oil
2 T Oil
1 tsp Worcestershire
3 T Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1 1/2 lbs Salmon
2/3 Cup Panko

Heat oven to 375F.

Break the garlic into cloves and spread onto a small baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes or until caramelized.

Press the roasted garlic out of the cloves. Whisk with the Worcestershire, mustard, mayo, and salt and pepper.

Spread the mustard mixture onto the salmon. Toss the panko with the oil and salt and pepper. Sprinkle onto the salmon and press gently to adhere.

Bake the salmon for 12-14 minutes or until golden.

Serves 6

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