“I’ve always wanted to go to cooking school in Paris,” Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson tells me while holding her seriously adorable pup, Walter, under one arm. Benson recently purchased a new home, and her first order of business was transforming the kitchen to give it the quintessential Parisian aesthetic. The goal? Other than a très chic vibe, she intends to spend ample time over a frying pan, learning about the classic cuisine. Heck, she even says that one day, you might just find her at a cooking school like Le Cordon Bleu in the City of Lights.
For now though, Benson is perfectly content to use her brand-new digs to cook family-style meals for her friends. Her latest creation? An unbeatable coconut salmon recipe.
“Just coat coconut spray on both sides of the salmon really well, and then use salt and pepper.” —Ashley Benson
To get cookin’, all you need is salmon, asparagus, lemon juice, coconut oil, salt, and pepper. “Just coat coconut spray on both sides of the salmon really well, and then use salt and pepper,” Benson instructs. “Then I put it on the pan for three minutes on each side.” The actress adds that she loves to add a splash of white wine to the pan as well for some extra flavor (bonus points for using an organic bottle). Once you’ve pan-seared the fish on each side, pop the whole concoction—pan included—into the oven for another 12 to 15 minutes at 450°F.
While your flaky, coconut-y fish is in the oven, start working on the actress’s favorite side: a simple combo of asparagus, salt, pepper, and just a dash of lemon juice. Though Benson doesn’t specify how she cooks the asparagus, my (pretty average) culinary skills provide evidence that whether you roast it alongside the fish in the oven, or pan sear it in the leftover oil on your salmon pan, the flavor will totally merit an enthusiastic, “bon appétit!”
Oh, and if you’re wondering what’s on the menu for Walter—and Benson’s other dog, Olive—they chow down on dog kibble with a side of peanut buttery SmartyPaws dog supplements (a company with which Benson recently partnered). So, use the actress’s healthy menu planning as inspo for making sure your fur baby is also able to pack in the nutrients while you’re enjoying an omega-3-rich dinner.
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