My step-daughter is a very lovely young woman who doesn’t often make requests from the kitchen, so when she does…I am happy to oblige. Christmas Eve dinner is a big deal in our house and this is her favourite dish for the occasion. So every year I head out a few days before Christmas to pick up the ingredients. I might also mention that it is at this time that I am reminded about two things….1) marscapone is nearly impossible to find at Christmas time and 2) wow…it is expensive. Having said all of that…it is totally worth both the time and the expense to track some down because this salmon is amazing. Truly… and simple. Really.
Baked Salmon with Spinach & Marscapone
adapted from Bon Apetit
- 10-ounce bag fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup cream cheese (about 4 ounces), room temperature
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 8 good size salmon fillets with skin…they must be about 1 inch thick so you can stuff them with goodness
- glug of olive oil
- 2 2/3 cups fresh breadcrumbs … I use ones that are quite fine with excellent results
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and toss in your spinach. Cook for about 30 seconds…until it is just wilted. Drain your spinach and give it a rinse. Now squeeze the spinach dry…I usually give it a good squeeze until I think it is dry and then let it sit for a few minutes and come back and give it another go.
3) When your spinach is as dry as it is going to get, chop it finely and pop it in a medium size bowl. To that, add the cream cheese and marscapone (here is where being room temperature really helps). Sprinkle with a generous amount of ground nutmeg and season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix it up well.
4) Take each of your salmon fillets and make a slit in the side of it to form a pocket. Be careful not to pierce the skin, but you want to make the pocket as big as you can to make room for all of the cheese-y filling. Stuff each of your salmon fillets with the cheese mixture. Sprinkle the fillets with coarse salt and some fresh ground pepper. NOTE: You can make this ahead…just cover and refrigerate until you are ready to bread the fillets.
5) Get a rimmed baking sheet ready for the oven by either lining it with silpat or brushing it with olive oil.
6) Mix up the melted butter, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a medium bowl. Top each fillet with this mixture, sort of pressing it gently into the skin to get it to stick. Place your breaded fillets on the tray that is ready for the oven.
7) Bake your fillets until they are opaque (not so pink) in the centre…depending on your oven anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes…start checking after 10.
See…all of this goodness in only 7 steps. Enjoy!