Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ina's Panko-Crusted Salmon served on Couscous

You can always count on Ina Garten to deliver a fantastic recipe, and her recipe for Panko-Crusted Salmon is no exception.  It's a simple dish, easy to prepare, yet it delivers so much flavor.  I love the crunchy texture of the lemony breadcrumbs with the tender flaky fish.  I knew it was going to be a great dish, but it really exceeded our expectations. 

My non-fish eating family gobbled this up and asked for more.  They even asked me if we could have this meal once a week.  Now that's some magic!  I definitely suggest this recipe for salmon if you are trying to introduce more fish into your diet.  I think it would make a believer out of just about anyone.

Panko-Crusted Salmon
Adapted from Ina Garten's How Easy Is That?
Serves 4

2/3 cup panko 
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons good olive oil
4 (6-8oz.) salmon filets, skin on
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the panko, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Drizzle with the olive oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated.  Set aside.

Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a board.  Generously brush the top of the fillets with mustard and then sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Press the panko mixture thickly on top of the mustard on each salmon fillet.  The mustard will help the panko adhere.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or large heavy, ovenproof pan.  When the oil is very hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and sear for 3-4 minutes, without turning, to brown the skin.

Transfer the pan to the hot oven for 5-7 minutes until the salmon is almost cooked and the panko is browned.  Remove the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.  Serve the salmon hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.
Couscous with Toasted Pine Nuts
Adapted from Ina's How Easy Is That?
Serves 6-8

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups couscous (12 ounces)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Note: To toast pine nuts, place them in a dry saute pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, toasting often, until lightly browned.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned.  Add the chicken stock, salt, and pepper and bring to a full boil.  Stir in the couscous, turn off the heat, cover, and allow to steam for 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, stir in the pine nuts and parsley, and serve hot.


  1. You are so right. You can always count on Ina. I'm impressed your non-fishing eating family loved this. What a nice compliment for you and Ina.

    Really outstanding photos Kim. They should be in Ina's cookbook.

  2. Sounds wonderful. I love Ina and all her recipes. This dish looks great.
    *kisses* HH

  3. Seriously, how easy is that?? What a healthy, fast and I know incredibly delicious dinner. We're having salmon tonight too - salmon burgers, but I'm eyeing this recipe now, lol.

  4. I'm not much of a fish person, but that looks seriously delicious!

  5. Definitely sounds like this worked magic on your family! Maybe the breadcrumbs are like magic dust. I think I could come up with lots of uses for those. Yum! You know, I don't know if I've ever made an Ina Garten recipe. I'm a little ashamed :)

  6. Ina always comes through. I've yet to get "How Easy is That?" but it's on my agenda - as is this dish! Panko is fairy dust.

  7. How Easy Is That? is a great book. I had this dish tagged to make--I am glad it was so good. ;-)

  8. I really need to start cooking more Ina dishes! they always look so perfect, classic and quintessentially delicious!

  9. This looks like a wonderful meal - I can't get my hands on the panko breadcrumbs, but this dish is top of the list when I do!

  10. Yum! My daughter and I really love salmon. The couscous looks excellent with the toasted pine nuts!

  11. Yes, Ina's recipes are almost guaranteed to be winners. I love panko crumbs on just about anything. Well, maybe not liver. I won't eat that no matter how it's served! Beautiful meal!

  12. Love salmon and Ina!!! It has to be delicious!Great dish,Kim!

  13. Oh delicious! This meal looks SO good!

  14. Yum! I love Ina, she knows flavour. Looks great!

  15. Every Ina recipe has proven to be quite delicious that I've made and this sounds like it follows that theme! I love panko-crusted fish, and I adore salmon! My husband isn't fond of fish either, so your family's endorsement of this Ina recipe should help him change his mind. Thanks, Kim!!!

  16. Very good recipe for salmon. Made with Copper River Sockeye. Delicious. Served with tabouli.


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