I made Ina Garten’s easy salmon dish and had dinner on the table in 15 minutes

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  • Ina Garten has always been about making things easy in the kitchen.
  • So I knew the "Barefoot Contessa" star would help me find my cooking groove again. 
  • I made her salmon teriyaki and broccolini, which only required a simple few steps. 
  • The easy dish was vibrant and delicious — and it was all ready in 15 minutes. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

From her simply delicious pasta recipes to her laid-back dishwasher philosophy, Ina Garten is all about making things easy in the kitchen.

So when the world went into lockdown and I had to start cooking most of my meals at home, I knew the "Barefoot Contessa" star was just the person to turn to. 

And one of the very first dishes I made was Garten's salmon teriyaki and broccolini. 

The simple dish only has a few steps, but it's packed with flavor. And it gave me the confidence I needed to get back into the kitchen.

My return to the kitchen was inspired by my day living like Ina Garten.

Cooking has never been my strong suit, which didn't matter much in New York City. I was surrounded by incredible places to eat, and I definitely took advantage of it. 

But when the world went into lockdown, I was suddenly home all the time. And after a week of eating eggs and frozen veggies for dinner every night, I knew I needed to improve my cooking skills — I just wasn't sure how. 

Then, one fateful day in April, a video of Garten making a massive cosmopolitan at 9 a.m. popped up on my Instagram feed. 

I knew I had found my new quarantine hero.

Along with her iconic cosmo, Garten began sharing daily recipes on her Instagram feed — and I was shocked at how simple they seemed.

Garten told The Atlantic that she quickly realized her fans needed accessible dishes that were still comforting. And, as she whipped up these easy meals to show her followers, the "Barefoot Contessa" star was able to find her own groove in lockdown. 

"For me, it was a way to stay connected with people," she added. "But also it became a way to have purpose and order during the day."

One of the first dishes that Garten shared was her salmon teriyaki and broccolini, which she called a "quick one-bowl dinner." 

Since I love salmon and used to cook it a lot before I moved to New York, I decided it would be the perfect dish to get me back into my own cooking groove.

To start Garten's dish, I first needed to make the sauce for the salmon teriyaki.

To make the salmon teriyaki sauce, you'll need: 

  • Olive oil or vegetable oil 
  • Soy sauce 
  • Sesame oil 
  • Pure maple syrup 
  • Minced fresh ginger 
  • Red pepper flakes 

It may seem like a lot of ingredients, but the sauce actually took me less than 30 seconds to prep. 

I threw three tablespoons of olive oil, three tablespoons of soy sauce, one-and-a-half tablespoons of pure maple syrup, and two teaspoons of sesame oil straight into a saucepan. I added one tablespoons of minced garlic, plus a few generous twists from my red pepper mill, and brought everything to a boil. 

Then I lowered the heat and let the pan simmer for three minutes before setting it aside. Just like that, the sauce was done.

Then it was time to prep the salmon fillets while the oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Garten recommends arranging your fish in a baking dish that's "just large enough to hold them with a little space in between the fillets." 

Per her recipe, I arranged the salmon fillets with their rounded sides up and sprinkled a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. 

Then I spooned the teriyaki sauce evenly over the fillets before popping them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes — which Garten said was the optimal cooking time if you wanted your salmon to be medium instead of rare. 

As the salmon cooked, I got my broccolini ready.

I spread my broccolini on a sheet pan, generously drizzling them with olive oil. 

After sprinkling the veggies with salt and pepper, I tossed the broccolini with my hands to make sure they were evenly coated. 

Ten minutes before my salmon was done, I popped my broccolini on the empty rack below the fish. I had evenly spaced out the racks before preheating my oven, per Garten's instructions. 

The salmon looked beautiful when it came out of the oven.

The bright-orange fillets had turned into a pretty light-pink hue, and just by looking at them I had a feeling the fish was going to be super fluffy.

As I plated my salmon and broccolini, I was impressed with what I had achieved in just 15 minutes.

The dish looked so bright, vibrant, and healthy. And it was a much-needed break from my usual eggs and frozen veggies.

Both the salmon and broccolini tasted just as good as they looked.

My salmon was cooked perfectly, and I absolutely loved the teriyaki sauce. It gave the fish a delicious and subtle tang without overpowering it. My only complaint was that I wanted more of it! 

The salmon's light and fluffy texture also paired well with the broccolini, which had a great char. The veggies were crisp but tender, and added some crunch to the dish.

I ate my salmon and broccolini with these delicious English roasted potatoes, which I had also discovered on Garten's Instagram.

When Garten shared the recipe for Emily Blunt's English roasted potatoes, her fans went so wild that they ended up crashing the "Barefoot Contessa" website. 

I made the potatoes during my day living as Garten in lockdown, and just one bite proved that all the hype was well-deserved. 

These beautifully golden potatoes, which are just seasoned with some sea salt and parsley, were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The crunch from the crust was so perfect, I couldn't believe how soft the potatoes were in the middle. 

Garten usually pairs her salmon and teriyaki with steamed basmati rice, which I'll definitely try the next time I make this dish. But if you're looking for a side dish with a little more crunch, Blunt's potatoes are a surefire hit.

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