Are there things in your pantry you struggle to use up? For me, it's nuts. I'll buy a bag of almonds for a recipe and then neglect them for months. Next to the almonds are five walnuts lingering in a bag . One day I'll get frustrated and either eat them or chuck them in the garbage. I'm not even sure why I initially bought a container of hazelnuts... but they've been hanging in our cabinet for a while. Occasionally, I'll be looking for something to snack on and will reach for a handful, but it never seems to do much to deplete our supply. I finally decided to take action and, the other day, I ground up the remaining nuts, mixed them with panko and parsley, and spread it on top of some salmon. The whole dinner came together quickly and has an air of elegance (just saying "encrusted salmon" feels sophisticated). You can serve it with any of your favorite vegetables. A lightly-dressed green salad would really round out the meal. For me, I went with what we had in the fridge, some baby potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Hazelnut-Crusted Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
4 skin-on salmon fillets (approximately 6 oz each)
1 lb baby potatoes, cut in half
1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 8-10 minutes to par cook them (they're done when a knife slides easily into the potato, but there should be some resistance). Strain potato in a colander.
Preheat oven to 385 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a bowl, toss potatoes and Brussels sprouts with 1-tablespoon olive oil and season generously with salt. Spread them onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer with the cut sides down. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, giving them a stir halfway through to prevent sticking.
Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix together chopped hazelnuts, panko, parsley, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. In another bowl, stir together Dijon mustard and honey. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Spread Dijon mustard-honey mixture on top of fillets, this will allow the chopped hazelnuts and panko to adhere to the salmon. Spread hazelnuts and panko on top of the mustard.
Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to a large, oven-safe skillet and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil starts to shimmer, carefully place the salmon fillets, skin-side down, into the pan. Cook for 5 minutes and then transfer the pan to the oven. Cook for another 7 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve salmon with lemon wedges, roasted Brussels sprouts and potatoes.