I always recommend to my clients that they eat fatty fish like salmon. It's such a fantastic source of omega-3s and protein. But, if you'll notice, the only fish recipes I have on this blog were done by guest bloggers. That's because I rarely cook fish myself. I always hated the fishiness of fish (although I adore tuna salad—and is there a fishier fish than tuna, even when tossed with mayo, onions and celery?!).
So, I admit I was a bit nervous when I got the menu and recipes for the Foods from Chile dinner I recently hosted. But the recipe seemed straightforward enough...and when I received the Chilean salmon I was shocked/thrilled to find that it didn't smell fishy at all. It was fresh and gorgeous. I could handle this!
This dish sure looked striking, with the bright colors of the salsa and salmon contrasted by the darkness of the black rice. But it's quite a simple recipe. And I think all the elements played vital roles. For example, the sweetness and acidity from the fruit salsa was a great balance to the rich fattiness of the salmon. And the nuttiness of the rice meshed wonderfully with the almond crust on the fish.
I followed the instructions for cooking the fish to the letter. I didn't want to mess it up. It was well-received by my guests, who said it was cooked just right. Phew! The moral of the story: if I can cook this, so can you.
Almond-Crusted Salmon w. Fruit Salsa and Black Rice
- 1 cup Almonds
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup parsley
- ⅛ cup softened butter
- salt & pepper
- dash of Merken /merquén (1/2 tsp).
Chop all in food processor. Set aside. (Note: I used my Vitamix to grind the almonds first into a flour, then combined with the rest of the ingredients.)
- 2 lbs. skinless salmon fillet
- approx 1 TB Merken /merquén chilean spice (it is spicy, so check first for heat levels)
- Chile Olive Oil
Lightly coat baking pan with Chile Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I baked mine on parchment paper for easier clean-up). Season salmon with salt, pepper and Merken, to taste.
Cover the salmon with a light layer of the nut topping.
Cover and bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until cooked. Remove cover at 20 minutes to allow the topping to brown.
Chilean Fruit Salsa
- 6 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- ½ cup Raspberries
- 2 TB chopped cilantro
- 1 orange or 2 clementines, segmented and chopped
- 1 cup seedless grapes, halved or quartered
- 1 red onion, minced
- ¼ cup of Chile Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss with olive oil. I also added some salt right before serving.
- Prepare black rice as directed on the package.
- ½ Clementine
- dash of salt
Scoop rice onto plate and give a quick squeeze of the Clementine onto the rice and a dash of salt. Serve salmon on bed of black rice with generous amounts of salsa around the plate.
For more of the recipes from this meal, check out the Chilled Avocado Lime Soup; the Endive Salad with Raspberries, Clementines and Goat Cheese; and the Cherry Berry Crisp.
For more information on Foods from Chile, go to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Use #FoodsFromChile and #NowInSeason to check out the pictures and posts about this nationwide dinner party event on Twitter.