Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Maple walnut salmon tastes both luxurious and healthy — three flavors that are meant for each other. Plus, it’s a quick dinner recipe for weeknights.

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When in doubt, add maple and walnuts. What a scrumptious combination. Maple and pecans are a pretty nice pair too. But, today, as I write this, I’m remembering how good this maple walnut salmon was and thinking it will be on the menu again soon.

I found this recipe on The Healthy Foodie and said to myself, “Why have I never thought of this?” I’ve crusted both fish and chicken with almonds, pistachios and walnuts. And a jug of maple syrup is always hanging out inside my refrigerator door. But I never took that extra step. I’m glad The Healthy Foodie thought of it first. Like I would have, she adds a bit of heat to the maple walnut mixture.

A recipe like this is handy to have around during this hectic holiday season. It takes hardly any time at all to stir the topping together, plop it on the fish and get the fish in the oven. Clean up everything and (ta da!) the fish is done.

If you buy the frozen sides of wild Alaskan salmon that are lurking in most supermarkets’ seafood freezer, you can quickly thaw a few fillets by putting them in a ziplock bag and dunking them in a bowl of hot water — a safe method for quickly thawing pieces of meat or fish.

Maple Walnut Salmon | Grabbing the Gusto

Maple Walnut Salmon | Grabbing the Gusto

Maple Walnut Salmon

You’ll need a small bowl and a large oven-safe pan.

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat your oven to 425. Mix the walnuts, maple syrup, vinegar, soy sauce, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, onion powder and black pepper together in a small bowl. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture evenly over each piece of salmon.

Heat the oil over high heat in a large oven-safe pan. When the pan is hot, add the salmon and cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes, to sear the skin. You do eat the skin, right? Crispy salmon skin is like a salmon chip, so tasty and I’m sure incredibly good for you.

Transfer the pan to the oven and continue cooking the fish for about 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness of the fillets and your desired doneness.

I served my salmon with poblano-butternut squash gratin and carrot-kohlrabi gratin. Yeah, I was a little gratin-crazy that night.

Original recipe: Maple Walnut Crusted Salmon, The Healthy Foodie

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