Wichita salmon

Wichita Salmon

I suppose this dish could be called Salmon over Cannellini Beans and Spinach or something a bit more descriptive, but I’ve always called it Wichita Salmon. Years ago on an RV trip through Kansas, we ate at a restaurant in Wichita whose name I long ago forgot. After I raved about the salmon entree, our waiter described how it was made.  I took notes so I could try it at home.  The name stuck; it’s Wichita Salmon to me, but you can call it whatever you like.

When I make this in my one-butt kitchen, I sometimes use pre-cooked bacon. I admit I have a preference for crispy bacon that sizzles in the pan and gives off that mouth-watering aroma. However, pre-cooked bacon isn’t as messy and it’s faster. (Those things matter in an RV!) By the time it’s crumbled into the beans, it’s not as crispy as it was just out of the pan. Once as a test, I used half pre-cooked bacon and half regular bacon. When the crumbled bacon was added to the beans, I couldn’t tell the difference.

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Specialized Kitchen Utensils

  • You’ll need a large skillet with a lid for the bean and spinach, and a smaller skillet for the salmon. The trick is to make sure you can fit both pans on your stove top at the same time.

Serves 2


  • 2 (6-oz) fresh salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 strips bacon (or 1/4 cup bacon crumbles or 4 strips pre-cooked bacon and 1 tbsp oil)
  • 1/4 cup diced shallot or yellow onion (1 small shallot or 1/4 onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • 15-oz can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock (or more)
  • 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 3 cups spinach (or kale)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced


Rinse salmon fillets in cold water and dry with a paper towel.

In a small bowl, mix mustard and syrup.  Pour half of the mixture over the salmon fillets and let it sit while you get the beans started.

3 Ways to Cook the Bacon

  1. If you use regular bacon, cook it until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and crumble it.  Use a paper towel to wipe out about half of the bacon grease. Sauté diced shallot and garlic in retained bacon grease until they start to brown.
  2. If you used pre-cooked bacon, heat it up in the skillet. It will get a bit crispier. Remove it from the pan and crumble it. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and saute diced shallot and garlic until they start to brown.
  3. If you use bacon crumbles (I buy them in a big bag at Costco), heat them in the skillet to get them crispier. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and saute diced shallot and garlic until they start to brown.

Add drained cannellini beans, capers and crumbled bacon.  Stir in chicken stock.

Heat oil in a smaller pan (big enough for the fillets) with medium-high heat.  Place the fillets, skin-side up, in the hot skillet. Let them sizzle for about 5 minutes. Use a wide spatula to turn them over and cook skin-side down for about 3 minutes, being careful not to overcook.

While the fillets are cooking, add a splash more chicken stock to the beans if they are getting too dry. Put the spinach on top of the beans, pour in the lemon juice, and cover the pan. Cook over medium heat until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Stir spinach in with the beans. If you use kale instead of spinach, it will take longer to wilt the kale, probably about 3 minutes more.

To serve, put beans and spinach in the center of the plate. Remove the skin from the salmon, then place the salmon on top of the beans. Pour the remaining mustard and syrup mixture over the salmon.

Salmon over Cannellini Beans and Spinach


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