Everyday Food (September 2008)
One of the first recipes we ever made from a food blog was Simply Recipes' Panko-Crusted Salmon recipe, and we've made variations on that dish many times. If you've never made it, it's a great and easy dish of flaky salmon topped with a mixture of panko, herbs, spices and mustard.
In our book, it's a nearly perfect salmon recipe, especially for a weeknight meal.
Can it be beat?
The latest issue of Everyday Food includes a recipe for Herb-Crusted Salmon that holds many similarities to Elise's recipe at Simply Recipes. As a bonus, this recipe also includes a simple spinach salad, adorned only with lemon juice, oil and red onion.
Let's compare the recipes:
Everyday Food vs. Simply Recipes
White Bread Crumbs vs. Panko
Dijon mustard vs. Honey-Mustard
Parsley vs. Parsley, Thyme & Sweet Paprika
Both recipes have their strong points. The mustard on the Everyday Food salmon stands out -- thickly applied to the fillets prior to the application of bread crumbs, the mustard gives the fish a kick. On the other hand, the honey-mustard in the Simply Recipes salmon brings a sweetness to that dish, creating almost candied bread crumbs.
The other biggest difference is in the bread crumbs themselves. The panko in the Simply Recipes dish crisps very nicely in the oven. The white bread crumbs also browned nicely, but lacked the crunch of the panko.
So which recipe is better?
As Tim Gunn would say, it's really a matter of taste. If you like the spiciness of mustard to take center stage, go with Everyday Food. But if you'd like some sweetness brought to the dish, go with Simply Recipes.
In terms of ease of cooking, though, the Simply Recipes salmon comes in first, no question. Though neither of these recipes is at all difficult or time-consuming, shaking panko out of a bag definitely beats pulsing bread in a food processor.
Oh, and as for that little spinach side salad? It's a great, simple accompaniment to the sweet crusted salmon. Its bright, sharp flavors make a great contrast to the fish.
Dijon mustard gives the topping a nice kick and balances the richness of the salmon fillets. Lemon juice in the spinach salad offers another bright note.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
3 slices white sandwich bread
* 1 cup fresh parsley
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
* 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 5 ounces baby spinach
* 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. In a food processor, combine bread, parsley, and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Pulse until coarse crumbs form.
2. Place salmon on prepared sheet; season with salt and pepper. Spread top of fillets with Dijon; top with crumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Roast until salmon is opaque throughout, 11 to 13 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine lemon juice and remaining oil; season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and onion; toss to combine. Serve salmon with spinach salad.