Panko Crusted Salmon with Warm Lentil Salad

Today's posting includes two delicious recipes from Ina Garten — Panko Crusted Salmon and Warm Lentil Salad. They go so well together that I can't resist including both! The salmon dish is quick and easy but loaded with flavor, and the same goes for the lentil salad. Use the French green Le Puy lentils if you can find them, it's worth it. The salmon can be made a few hours ahead, just get them ready and refrigerate. The lentils can be served warm or at room temperature and make great leftovers.

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Panko Crusted Salmon Recipe

 Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

For two servings:
1/3 c. panko
1 T. minced fresh parsley
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T. olive oil
(2) 6 to 8 ounce salmon fillets, skin on
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. vegetable oil
Lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 425-degrees.

In a small bowl mix the panko, parsley, lemon zest, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Add the olive oil and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated. Set aside. Salt and pepper the top of the salmon fillets, then generously brush with mustard. Press the panko mixture thickly on top of the mustard (it helps the panko adhere). Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet. When the oil is very hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and sear for 4 minutes, without turning, to brown the skin. Transfer the pan to the hot oven for 7 minutes until the salmon is cooked and the panko is browned. Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve the salmon hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

Warm Lentil Salad

2 T. + 1/4 c. olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 c. French green Le Puy lentils
1 small to medium onion, peeled and stuck with 6 whole cloves
1/2 of a large white turnip, peeled
1 tsp. butter
heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 T. olive oil in a medium sauce pan, add the leek and carrots, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, take off the heat and set aside.

In a large saucepan add the lentils, 4 cups of water, the onion studded with cloves, and the turnip and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes (you want the lentils al dente, not mushy). Remove the turnip and onion (take out the cloves and discard) and drain the lentils. Put the lentils in the sauce pan with the leek and carrots and add the butter. Stir well. When cool enough to handle, chop the onion and turnip and add to the lentil mixture.

In a small bowl add the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk until incorporated. Add the olive oil and whisk again. Add to the lentils, stir well, and allow to cool until just warm. Before serving taste and add salt and/or pepper, if needed.

– Ina Garten, Food Network