Earlier this fall, one of my clients asked me to make an easy baked salmon recipe with ground almonds, Dijon mustard, and nearly a pound of butter. Though it wasn’t one of her recipes, as I folded the ingredients together I couldn’t quiet the resounding chorus of Ina Garten in my ear. How bad could that be?
The answer: not bad at all.
Though I didn’t get to eat the end result myself, I could tell that the slow-roasted salmon that had basted in its own buttery topping was beyond delicious. Everyone else seemed to be on board with the concept as well. I posted this picture on instagram before the fish went in the oven and by the time it came out I had a sea of kitty heart eye emojis in the comment field.
I never shy away from a pat of butter on this site, but at the same time, I didn’t exactly feel like I could get away with a weeknight seafood recipe where the butter measurements were labeled by the pound instead of tablespoon. So I started thinking about ways I could take this low and slow baked salmon concept and make it a bit healthier.
I love using coconut oil as a butter substitute (I like this brand). Since it’s solid at room temperature, you can whip it and get a similar texture to butter, which is great for smooshing under chicken skin among other things. So I decided this would be the body of my salmon topping and I wouldn’t have to feel bad about using a shit load to keep the fish super moist as it basted in the melted fat.
Coconut oil, salmon and almonds are great healthy fat sources—an essential nutrient in skin care, and therefore one of utmost importance this month. I decided to give the rest of the ingredients an Asian spin to match the coconut oil. The topping also contains ginger, garlic, and fresh lemon zest.
The best part of this easy baked salmon recipe is that you can make the whole thing in a parchment packet (I use this brand). I’m a self-proclaimed lazy cook, so I love any excuse to not do dishes. You can serve the fish right in the paper and just toss it when you’re done. Assemble the fish packets and keep in the fridge until ready to bake. The whole thing comes together in 15 minutes. BOOM.
I just got off a plane from Africa after an amazing 10 days celebrating my friend’s marriage in the most outrageous setting. I can’t wait to tell you about all of my adventures in the Serengeti. First though I need to nurse myself back to Eastern Standard Time with some easy, quick dishes like this almond-crusted salmon.
Stay tuned for later this week when I give you my verdict on green beauty month!
Ginger-Almond Crusted Baked Salmon Packets
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- In a small food processor, pulse the almonds, garlic, ginger, and herbs until finely ground. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and stir in the coconut oil, tamari, and lemon zest.
- Arrange 4 pieces of parchment paper, about the length of a baking sheet, on a clean work surface. Fold each piece of paper in half, length wide. Making each packet one at a time, arrange the salmon on half of the parchment paper. Season with salt and smear with ¼ of the almond crust. Fold the top half of the paper over the salmon and fold the edges, origami-style, until the packet is sealed. It will look kind of like an empanada. Don’t worry if it comes unraveled slightly. So long as you’ve made clean creases, no air can get out.
- Arrange the packets on 2 baking sheets and roast in the oven for 15 minutes for medium rare.
- Serve the salmon directly from the packets with lemon wedges on the side. Some simple roasted broccoli and quinoa fried rice would make an excellent healthy side.
Like this recipe? Get a FREE jar of coconut oil here to try it for yourself!