Mascarpone cheese. If it hasn’t entered your life, it needs to. It is one of the creamiest, richest things you will ever eat. You might have a little trouble finding it, but many grocery stores have started carrying it, especially more upscale stores. Look for it in a plastic container with a lid in the cheese section by the deli.
This Baked Salmon Stuffed with Mascarpone Spinach is phenomenal. You could use all cream cheese for it, or a goat cheese/ cream cheese mixture. Even feta cheese would work. But trust me when I say you should go with the mascarpone. And while you’re getting some, get enough for this Asparagus Gratin with Mascarpone Cheese. It’s maybe the most delicious asparagus dish you’ll ever eat.
Salmon is my favorite seafood to cook at home, but it’s not my favorite seafood overall. I LOVE shrimp, oysters, and scallops. Problem is, I’m so picky about shrimp quality, I’m often disappointed by the taste and freshness of the shrimp I buy. Good, fresh oysters are hard to get a hold of, and scallops are just so darn expensive.
But salmon never lets me down. I tend to buy farm-raised more often than wild because I like it’s milder flavor. I know, I know, there are many reasons to buy wild salmon over farmed.
Baked Salmon Stuffed with Mascarpone Spinach is an elegant dish that would be suitable for a dinner party and you can easily double or triple the recipe. It can be completely prepped ahead of time and since it bakes in the oven, you can attend to other things, keep your kitchen clean, and keep it hidden from view until you pull it from the oven, looking gorgeous with the crisp Panko crumbs on top, and little glimpses of the warm, gooey cheese-spinach filling below.
I’m thinking some toasted pine nuts would be a fabulous addition. Wish I’d thought of that before I made it.
- 4 cups (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach leaves
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 4 salmon fillets, each about 1-inch thick
- 1 cup panko crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 450° and spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and sauté spinach just until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Place in a small bowl. Let cool and then add cream cheese and mascarpone cheese. Mix together well.
- Cut a slit along the top of each salmon fillet about ¾-inch deep and 2 ½-inches long to form a pocket for spinach mixture. Sprinkle salmon lightly with salt and pepper and then stuff with salmon mixture. Note: Get as much spinach mixture in pocket as possible, but also spread a layer on top of salmon.
- In a small bowl, mix together panko crumbs, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Place mixture on top of each salmon fillet, and press to make sure it sticks. Place salmon skin side down on baking sheet and bake about 12 minutes, or to desired degree of doneness.
Recipe Source: adapted from Bon Appetit
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