Almond Crusted Salmon

2 Jul

I’m writing this on a Saturday, but I actually made this a few weeks back. But it was on a Friday – I didn’t grow up Catholic, but for some reason I always like the idea of fish on Friday evenings after work. And I’m a BIG salmon fan – I love it and love finding different ways to prepare it. So I found this recipe for Almond Crusted Salmon with Caramelized Onions and Fresh Basil over at WholeFoods.com and it came out really well. I also mashed up some taters and roasted some asparagus. Not too heavy – a perfect late spring dish with a pop of flavor – delicious!

For the salmon, you’ll want to crush up some almonds into sort of a mealy texture – here’s how I did it:

I added about a half cup to a full cup of almond slices to a little hand held kitchen chopper attachment thingie that I have. It has different attachments – the most notable of which is the one which you can stick down in a glass and hand blend drinks – know what I’m talking about? Mine is a Braun and I’ve had it for many years now and it’s never let me down. So I added the almonds and gave it a couple of pulses to make it a fine chop. Don’t do it too much or you’ll end up with an almond paste. Which is awesome in its own way, but not for our purposes here.

Anyway, once you have the almond meal, dump it into a shallow plate. You’ll notice that little bit of sliced almonds yields a good bit of the almond meal. Next, you’ll want to brush the tops of the salmon filets with a sweet mustard of some sort. Honey mustard would work great – I think I used a dijon mustard, just cause that’s what I happened to have. You know how much I love dijon mustard? It always tends to kick things up just a certain notch – always good to have on hand. So anyway, brush the tops of the salmon with the mustard and roll the tops in the almond meal – you’ll see how it sticks beautifully:

Once you have the filets coated with the mustard and almond meal, add them to a shallow, greased casserole dish and bake them off at 375 for about 15 minutes. Just watch it real close – when the meat flakes off with a fork, it’s done.

While all this is going on, heat some butter and a little oil in a large skillet. I sliced up half a large, yellow onion into very thin slices and just sauteed them with a little salt and pepper. I don’t see how a little garlic added here would hurt anything either. Keep stirring them around, until they’re translucent and then finally golden brown and caramelized. I swear, I could eat them right out of the pan at this point, but I held off.

Lastly, you’ll want to slice up fresh basil very thinly, as well as some green onions. When you pull the salmon out of the oven, top with the caramelized onions and chopped basil and green onions. It’s a pretty simple dish and will make for a great presentation to impress your family or guests!

As I said before, I served mine up with some roasted asparagus and mashed taters. Here’s another pic of our dinner:

(I know the salmon is half-eaten, because I forgot to take a picture of it when it was first served. Blogging picture fail – but at least you get an idea of how great it turned out).

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did – on Friday night or any ole night for that matter! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 4 teaspoons honey mustard or sweet prepared mustard
  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
Directions
Heat butter and 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in lime juice and keep warm.Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease the bottom of a large baking dish with remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Put almond meal into a wide, shallow dish and season salmon with salt and pepper. Brush the top of each salmon fillet with mustard and then roll in almond meal, pressing to make sure it sticks. Arrange salmon in prepared baking dish in a single layer and bake until just cooked through and flesh flakes with a fork, about 15 minutes.Transfer salmon to plates, top with caramelized onions, garnish with green onions and basil and serve. Yummers.
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