On one of my trips back home to Australia a couple of years ago my sister cooked salmon for dinner one night. Now I’m not a big fan of salmon unless it’s smoked so I surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The salmon was perfectly cooked & had a crunchy, lemony breadcrumb topping. Of course I asked her for the recipe. Turns out she’d cheated a little – it was a prepared Jamie Oliver product she’d bought from a local supermarket – Parmesan Herb Crusted Salmon (my title, not Jamie’s).
Nothing wrong with that, especially as it was so good. Cooking shortcuts here & there are smart timer-savers. The package directions state: coat the the raw salmon in the breadcrumb mixture then bake or fry. Then as it cooks you scurry to get some veggies cooked or a salad tossed (my words & not part of the package directions I’m sure). When I returned to my home to the US, I tried to replicate the crunchy breaded salmon I’d had back in Australia. And I think I nailed it. I’ve made it several times since, each time a little different because until now, I’ve never written down the recipe. My recipe is almost as fast to make as the ready-made version. And equally as good or dare I say…better.
I tend to changed the herb combination each time I cook this recipe. It’s really whatever I have growing or lurking in the fridge. Although I’ve specified Italian parsley, rosemary & thyme in the recipe, use whatever herbs you have on hand. Tarragon, rosemary & basil would be a lovely combination. Or just one herb, such as basil (which I think is in Jamie’s salmon). I have two big pots of basil on my windowsill in the kitchen. Silly me for not adding it, especially as it’s my fave. Salmon is robust in flavor so it can handle big flavors such as rosemary, so don’t be timid.
What I really enjoyed about this salmon recipe is the crunchy breadcrumb coating. You coat almost anything in breadcrumbs, cook it until crunchy & I will eat it. I stayed in Cody, Wyoming for a couple of months & ate a LOT of bull testicles, affectionately called “Rocky Mountain Oysters”. Those cowboys have the right idea to take something most people wouldn’t eat, slice ’em thin, coat ’em in breadcrumbs, deep-fry until golden & crunchy then serve ’em with a horseradish-meets-ketchup cocktail sauce. Those beauties were so darn good I ate them more times than I care to mention. Texture. It’s all about the texture. Ah, fun memories. And so much good food, wine & great company.
Serve the salmon with roasted beets & steamed green beans. Maybe a salad. Or as I did: steamed little new potatoes & roasted broccoli. The whole meal took about 30 minutes start to finish. Making this perfect for a quickie meal during the week that by all appearances, seems a little special. Serve with a chilled, dry rosé or pinot noir. Okay, I’m off to start clearing out our kitchen cupboards as the kitchen renos are starting very soon. Before I go, if you’re looking for more salmon recipes, what about Quick Asian Fishcakes (a 5 ingredient Jamie Oliver recipe on my site) or Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Pasta Salad ?
Chat to you soon,
- 1 lb (453g) salmon fillet
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- cooked broccoli & baby potatoes, to serve
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- If salmon still has skin, take a thin, long-blade sharp knife & with skin-side down, make a small cut on one corner as close to the skin as possible & use this piece to hang on to while you remove the rest of the skin (having a little salt on your fingers helps), run the knife under the salmon, as flat as possible to the cutting board to remove the skin. If the salmon already has the skin removed then omit this step. Cut salmon in half, folding any thin sections underneath themselves so each piece is approximately the same thickness. Place on baking sheet.
- Lightly beat the egg in a small mixing bowl using a fork. Add the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, herbs, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper & nutmeg; mix until thoroughly combined. Pile & press the mixture onto the top of each piece of salmon. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon, until salmon is cooked & flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serves 2 to 4.