Ciabatta Crusted Salmon

Today I’m going to show you a different use for your homemade croutons. Although croutons are great for soups and salads, they can also be used to make a flavorful breading for many delicious dishes. It’s yet another way to cut back on food waste by creating an alternative purpose for ingredients you already have. Not to mention it also keeps a few extra dollars in your pocket.

This particular meal I’m preparing features two of my favorite sides—garlic pine nut green beans and oven roasted potatoes—both of which pair well with the star of today’s event…

Ciabatta Crusted Salmon.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Salmon filets
  • Green beans
  • Potatoes
  • Pine nuts
  • Homemade croutons (for breadcrumbs)
  • Flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt/pepper
  • Parsley (optional)

Let’s get started.

First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Next, prep your potatoes.

Prep the potatoes

The potatoes require a couple of extra steps, so it’s smart to get them ready first.

Once sliced, put the potatoes in a microwavable bowl with some water, cover and microwave for two and a half minutes. Par-cooking the potatoes will reduce the amount of time they need in the oven.

Prep the potatoes

Drain the potatoes and lay them out on paper towels to dry.

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Use the same process for the green beans but microwave them for only a minute and a half.

Prep the green beans

After draining, place the green beans in a baking dish and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and chopped or minced garlic.

Prep the green beans

Mix thoroughly to ensure an even coating of seasoning.

By this time, the potatoes should be relatively dry. (Use a paper towel for any excess moisture)

Lay the potatoes out on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Prep the potatoes

Note: If you would like you can add a little fresh or dried parsley later once they have been plated.

Now it’s time to prep the salmon.

First, make your breadcrumbs with your homemade croutons.

Homemade breadcrumbs

Use a ziplock bag to contain the crumbs while you crush the croutons down with a rolling pin.

To bread the salmon filets, you will need three bowls. One bowl for flour, one bowl for an egg (beaten), and one bowl for the breadcrumbs.

Prep the salmon

Note: Use a paper towel and pat the salmon filets dry before breading them. This will help the breading adhere to the meat.

Cover the salmon with a light coating of flour.

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Dip into the egg.

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And roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat this process with the other filet.

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Put the breaded salmon on a plate and set aside. They will need to sit for at least ten minutes to allow the breading to set.

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Note: Some people prefer putting the meat back in the refrigerator and letting it sit for up to an hour before cooking. You can test it for yourself to see what works best for you. I find that letting them sit for ten minutes does the trick just fine.

While waiting on the salmon, go ahead and put the green beans and potatoes in the oven.

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Now is also a good time to pan roast the pine nuts.

Drop the pine nuts into a saute pan set on medium heat. 

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Stir continuously so they don’t burn. Once they start to oil and brown, take them out of the pan and set off to the side for later.

By now, the green beans and potatoes have been in the oven for a little over ten minutes. Give them each a quick toss so they cook evenly.

Now it’s time to fry the salmon.

Melt 2.5 tbsp. of butter in the saute pan with just a splash of lemon juice.

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Note: You can start on a medium heat to bring up the temperature of the butter, but you’ll want to turn it down a little once you go to fry the salmon.

When the butter starts to bubble, carefully place the breaded salmon in the saute pan.

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Note: Make sure to keep an eye on your heat. If it’s too hot, the crust will burn and the filet won’t be cooked all the way through.

Watch the edges of the salmon for hints of brown rising up on the sides. You can also carefully lift one side to see if it’s ready to flip.

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Once you see a crispy, golden brown bottom, flip the filets.

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Note: Try to only flip once so you don’t risk losing any breading.

Now you can add the pine nuts to the green beans and take them out of the oven.

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The baking dish should be hot enough to continue cooking them for a few more minutes.

Put the saute pan with the salmon into the oven to finish cooking for about six to ten minutes or until your potatoes are golden brown.

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Once the potatoes are finished, everything is ready to plate.

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Note: Serve immediately so that the breading on the salmon stays nice and crispy. Dribble some lemon juice over the filets for added flavor.

And there you have it. Ciabatta crusted salmon.

That loaf of bread you bought for $3 at the store has now been stretched over three or more different meals. Talk about getting more for your money!

Check out the video on YouTube for a quick visual guide.

Until next time, take care.

Cheers.

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