This savoury topping adds a crispy texture to salmon & trout fillets. Great with cod & haddock too.
When my twin brother and his wife were first married they lived in a very small town in Maine. We visit often and have always had catalog and online orders shipped to their place, to bring home on the next visit down.
Years ago I placed an order from a Victoria’s Secret catalog and had it shipped to my brother, knowing that I’d be down for a visit within a month or two.
The thing about small towns is that everyone knows everyone, which is charming, except when you’re picking up a package from the post office, addressed to you, (or in this case, my brother) from Victoria’s Secret.
My parcel – a pair of very ordinary pajamas – left much room for speculation on the part of the postmistress and everyone else who worked in the post office and possibly their extended families and Friday night drinking buddies.
This was back in the glory days of catalogs so of course after the package was delivered, the catalogs began to arrive. Every couple of months, addressed to my brother.
Long after his catalogs stopped arriving I came across this recipe for baked salmon in a 2002 Bon Appetit magazine and adapted it to suit my tastes. It’s a good recipe for people who aren’t wild about fish since the crustadds lots of flavor and a crispy texture.
I often make it with fresh water trout (closed pen land farmed so more sustainable than ocean farmed fish). Sometimes I’ll add a tsp. of herbes de Provence to the breadcrumb mixture.
Green tips: Land farmed fish (freshwater trout and salmon) is more sustainable than open pen ocean farmed salmon and steelhead trout. If you’re buying wild Pacific salmon look for a sustainability certification. Here’s more info on finding sustainable fish & seafood.
Baked Salmon with Cranberry Thyme Crust
4 salmon or trout fillets
3 Tbsp. butter, melted (or olive oil)
½ cup diced onion
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs
¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/3 cup chopped green onion (green parts only) or chives
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Place fish on pan, skin side down and season with salt & pepper.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. of butter or oil in a sauté pan. When it starts to shimmer add the diced onion and sauté until translucent.
- Add the garlic and sauté one minute longer.
- Remove from heat and stir in one Tbsp. of butter or oil, panko, cranberries, green onion, thyme and lemon zest. Combine well.
- Divide mixture among the fish fillets and press to adhere. Drizzle with remaining butter.
- Bake until topping is golden and fish is just cooked.