Tarragon is a key ingredient in several of our favorite dishes. Since each recipe calls for teaspoons or at most tablespoons of this herb at a time, we always end up with unused tarragon. This recipe is a great way to make use of leftover tarragon and is super delicious! It requires some brining and multi-step prep, but the end result is very much worth it.
 salt2 1/2 tbsp
 water1 qt
 skin-on salmon fillets2 whole
about 8 ounces each
 unsalted butter1 tbsp
 panko bread crumbs 1/4 cup
 salt1 pinch
to taste
 beaten egg1 tbsp
 fresh thyme1 tsp
 Dijon mustard1 1/2 tsp
while the original recipe calls for whole-grain mustard, we almost never have it on hand, so we replace it with Dijon
 mayonnaise 3/4 tsp
 fresh tarragon2 tbsp
chopped, could also use dill or basil
 lemon wedges


rimmed baking sheet
wire rack
brining container
small skillet
small bowl (2)
paper towels
Move the oven rack so that it's set in the middle. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Insert a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet. Layer the wire rack with foil. Lightly coat the foil with vegetable oil. Reserve for step 6.
In a container large enough to brine the fish fillets, dissolve the salt into the water. Brine the salmon at room temp for 15 minutes while you prepare the panko crust and herb sauce.
Preheat a small skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter, then add the panko, salt, and pepper. Stir for about 3-4 minutes until browned.
Transfer the browned panko to a small bowl and cool completely (chilling in the freezer if needed), and then mix in the egg and thyme. Reserve.
In a separate small bowl, combine the mustard, mayo, and tarragon.
Pull the salmon fillets out of the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Transfer the salmon, skin side down, on top of the foil-lined wire rack.
Spoon the tarragon sauce onto the salmon and spread it evenly. Press the seasoned panko onto the sauce to adhere.
Bake for 15-18 minutes until the internal temp of the thickest part of the fish registers at 125°F. Rest for 5 minutes, and then serve with lemon wedges. Share and enjoy! :)

May-June 2013 issue of Cook's Illustrated