Slap a wild salmon fillet on a sheet pan, smother it with an aromatic herb paste, and that’s what I call fish without fuss.
I’m talking about fresh and fabulous baked salmon in 20 minutes with simple ingredients and big flavor that looks as amazing as it tastes. This is feel good food that you can make with your eyes closed.
If this is your first time creating a crust for fish, this foolproof method is sure to make you look like you really know what you’re doing. Sometimes you just need a substantial crust to elevate a good thing into meal-worthy status. Take, for instance, this oven roasted rack of lamb that gets smothered in mustard followed by an herb and breadcrumb mix.
What’s in this herb crust?
You don’t need to do much to make salmon taste good. You can always grill salmon, but when you tire of that, try baking it with an herb crust made of parsley, garlic, olive oil, and almond flour.
I use almond flour to make this recipe adaptable for gluten free and paleo diets, and I think it adds a nutty flavor that compliments the fish.
Can I use breadcrumbs in the crust instead of almond flour?
Go for it! I LOVE this recipe with breadcrumbs because they get a little toastier than the almond flour. Speaking of toasty, if you want to finish the fish under the broiler, be careful to remove within 1-2 minutes. I know from experience, that topping can burn quickly.
2 Ways to Make the Herb Crust
My favorite way to make this dish is to chop the parsley and garlic finely by hand and then just mix in the almond flour and olive oil directly on the sheet pan. That way, I’m not dirtying multiple dishes. Then, I just scoop up the mixture and pat it on top of the salmon with the skin facing down.
I’ve also mixed the herb crust in the food processor, but I usually do this if I’m grinding my own breadcrumbs. At that point, you might as well just add your parsley and garlic and let the food processor do the work.
Top the crust with some fresh lemon slices and bake for 20 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of the fillet.
Serve this salmon as-is for a light lunch or dinner or try adding a side of salt block asparagus or herb infused mashed potatoes for a full meal. While this fish tastes best fresh, you could store the leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days.
Better yet, prepare the salmon with the crust in advance and just cook the amount you want each day for best texture.
Working with Salmon
For the best flavor and proportion of omega-3s to omega-6s, look for fresh wild salmon at your fish market. Farmed salmon will work in this recipe, but these fillets tend to have a higher proportion of fat overall.
While you do not need to cut the salmon or remove the skin, it’s a good idea to feel along the flesh for large bones. You can use your fingers or tweezers to remove them easily. Always let cold fish sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes before heating for best results.
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Baked Salmon with Parsley Garlic Crust
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 oz parsley leaves, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup almond flour or bread crumbs
- 1 fillet salmon or arctic char (approximately 1 pound), skin on, bones removed with tweezers
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine the herb crust ingredients on a sheet pan to form a thick paste then scoop to the side to clear the pan for the fish. Season the fillet on both sides with salt and pepper and lay flat skin-side down.
- Cover the flesh side of the salmon with a thick layer of herb paste. Pat down and top with lemon slices. Bake for 15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through, where the flesh is no longer translucent. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
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