Over the years, I have had salmon cooked in maple syrup and I have had a plethora of crusted salmon: pecan-crusted, horseradish-crusted, panko-crusted, Italian breadcrumb-crusted. The list goes on and on. Because salmon is very light in flavor and a dream to work with in both flavoring and cooking techniques, I decided to make my own salmon with maple syrup version.
Ron and I buy Grade B pure maple syrup at our local farmers’ market. The difference between the kind sold at grocery stores (Grade A) and Grade B is Grade A is light amber and has a very light, delicate maple flavor. Grade B is darker and more robust in flavor. Grade B also has more nutritional value because Grade A goes through the refinement process which strips it of healthy minerals. Grade B is the one recommended in dietary cleanses because of it’s minerals and nutritional value, where Grade A is not.
The reason behind using maple syrup and adding a crust to the salmon was to give it sweetness balancing out the earthy flavors of the herb and almond mixture. Since the salmon was going to be baked, I didn’t find it necessary to make “salmon glue,” which is comprised of heavy cream, salmon trimmings and seasoning. Salmon glue is often made to adhere the crust mixture (whatever crust mixture it would be) to the salmon so it does not fall off. Since my recipe calls for no flipping of the salmon, I did not need it to be glued on.
I honestly don’t think I would ever make salmon glue. It seems unnecessary for my method of baking the fish, not to mention the somewhat gross imagery of eating glue. My almond mixture adhered perfectly to the salmon and did not fall off!
- 1 pound of wild salmon
- 1 cup of organic raw sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried dill
- a few sprigs of parsley, leaves only
- 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup, Grade B
- 1-2 tablespoons of light extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farhenheit. In a baking dish or Pyrex dish, place your salmon skin side down. Now prepare the almond mixture.
In a small food processor add the sliced almonds, dill, parsley leaves and drizzle in approximately two tablespoons of light extra virgin olive oil. Pulse until the almonds are crumb-like.
Pour 1/2 cup of the maple syrup over the salmon. Add a pinch of sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.
Now, using a spatula, add the almond mixture on top of the salmon. Create a thick layer and firmly press the mixture onto the salmon.
Put the salmon in the oven on the center rack and bake for 15-20 minutes depending on the cut of the salmon. The salmon I cooked was a thick cut, so it needed to be baked for about 22 minutes for medium-well.
When the salmon is done baking, turn the oven off and turn the broiler on high. Broil for about one minute or until the almond mixture turns a bit golden. Remove from broiler and let sit for five minutes before cutting it into portions and serving.
Here’s a cleaning tip after you’ve served this dish. Pour water and some liquid soap into the Pyrex dish you baked the salmon in. Let this soak, even overnight. It’ll be easier to remove the hardened maple syrup that’s been left behind.
If you make my Summer Crusted Salmon recipe, pair it with a side of roasted asparagus and shallots. It’s the perfect dish for a summer’s evening and has little kitchen clean up afterwards. Bon appétit!