Salmon with Lemon-Thyme Persillade Crust and Spiced Parsley Mayonnaise

by Chef Mark Tafoya

Persillade is a classic French preparation using parsley and garlic. It is often used as a last-minute finish to dishes, but can also be combined with breadcrumbs to form a crust for lamb, meat or fish. In this simple version, we brighten up the taste with thyme and lemon zest to match the richness of the salmon, and a touch of Parmesan cheese for a nutty aroma.

4 servings

Ingredients

½ cup Italian parsley, minced
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh thyme leaves, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 small garlic cloves, minced
2 cups bread crumbs
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted, divided use
4 6-8 ounce salmon filets

For the spiced parsley mayonnaise:
2 ½ tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
2 ½ tablespoons cilantro, minced
2 tablespoons scallion, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or juice of the zested lemon)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 cup mayonnaise

Equipment

Foil-lined baking pan

Preparation

Prepare the spiced parsley mayonnaise:
Combine the minced parsley, cilantro, scallions, vinegar (or lemon juice), garlic, oregano, black pepper and cayenne pepper with the mayonnaise, and stir until thoroughly combined. Store in a container in the refrigerator until service.

Prepare the persillade:
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Stir together the parsley, Parmesan, thyme leaves, lemon zest, salt and garlic in a medium bowl. Add the bread crumbs and stir again to evenly distribute all ingredients. Toss the bread crumb mixture with 3 tablespoons of the melted butter. Rinse the salmon filets well and pat them dry with a paper towel. Line a shallow baking pan with foil and generously butter the bottom. Brush the salmon with the remaining melted butter, and cover with the bread crumb mixture, gently pressing to adhere. Bake in the preheated 400° F oven for approximately 15 minutes, or just until the salmon is cooked through, and the persillade begins to toast. The Parmesan will begin to melt and develop a nutty aroma. Serve immediately with the spiced parsley mayonnaise.

Recipe by Mark Tafoya
Photo by Kelly Cline

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