Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good for You Pistachio Baked Salmon

I don’t think I tasted any fish until I was in my twenties.  I don’t think Friday nights eating deep fried no-name fish count.  (As my friend Peg so logically asks, “Can’t you eat fish other nights, too!?!”)   The frozen Mrs. Paul’s fillets don’t count either.  And as much as I love shellfish, and have since I was a kid, shrimp is an ineligible competitor.

But when I first tasted salmon, I was sold from the get-go.  It was meaty, had texture, this wonderful pink color and it didn’t smell – or taste  -- fishy.  And now I know that not only is it good, it’s really good for you.  Full of those wonderful Omega-3 rich fatty acids that form a shield against heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and a host of cancers.  “Modest amounts” the experts say, 2 to 3 times a week.  

And then there are pistachios.  More sturdy soldiers to protect me.  Although all nuts aren’t exactly stingy on the calorie end, they’re great disease armor, too.  “A handful of pistachio nuts a day can help destroy bad cholesterol, ward off heart disease and prevent cancer,” according to a Penn State study.

That’s a double whammy!  The fact that they’re two of my favorite foods made this recipe easy to swallow and easy for me to tell Mr. Rosemary, “But honey, it’s healthy!!” (Well, except for the little bit of sugar.)

And it’s easy to prepare, except for the fact that I had to shell all the nuts, and broke a nail in the process.  The only thing to be careful about is to not overcook the salmon.  It’s easy to do, especially when you’re dealing with the thin pieces I’m able to get.  Unless I make a special trip to the “big city” I need to rely on frozen fish here and salmon, since it’s a firm fish, holds up to freezing really well.  For me it’s a workhorse and I’m glad it’s working hard for me in return, keeping me healthy. 

Pistachio Baked Salmon
slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

1 cup salted dry roasted pistachio nuts, chopped
½ cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dillweed
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
6 6-ounce (each) skinless salmon fillets

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  In a small bowl combine pistachio nuts, brown sugar, lemon juice, dillweed, black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Set aside for a minute.

Line a baking pan with foil, spray it with vegetable and place the salmon on it.  Spoon mixture onto salmon pieces and press lightly to form a crust.

Bake for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on how thick your pieces are. 

Makes 6 servings.   About 390 calories each.


  1. I am always game for baked fish with a nutty topping or crust. These do look easy to prepare and with great results. New info to me concerning the health benefits of pistachios. I will need to try this recipe-yum.
    Sorry about the nail, hope it did no break too close to the quick.

  2. I'm always trying to eat more fish and this is a wonderful recipe - bookmarking it and going to use it!
    Mary x

  3. Salmon, dill, lemon and pistachios...I don't think it can get any better than that!

  4. Rosemary, this is my kind of cooking. Healthy, delicious and pretty. I too love salmon and I didn't grow up eating much fish either. I had a similar salmon moment and it's been happiness every since. Love the pistachios with it.

  5. Rosemary-An absolutely perfect oven temp. and baking time, to a delicious, healthy, moist, and crunchy yummy topping for salmon. Love the recipe and the photos, as well!

  6. Oh just a perfect dish - looks great!

  7. This is one good idea. I love - some salmon - am fussy - but when I love it - I LOVE it. (Nice to love something good for you for a change) - but when you bring in my beloved pistachios - I am brimming with salmon joy.

  8. Oh, man, does this look delicious, Rosemary!!! I love salmon, too...and even Bill (my resident fish hating hubby) has learned to enjoy it. Beautiful dish~ Have a great weekend!

  9. It's lovely to meet a new friend, Rosemary! You have a wonderful blog.
    We eat a lot of salmon and I'm always looking for a new way to prepare it. (Besides, I could eat pistachios by the handful!)

  10. The salmon sounds to die for. I can imagine the great flavor pistachios add to it.

  11. I love baked fish..should do it oftener.

  12. This is delicious! I LOVE salmon (and pistachios). Sadly, I developed an allergy to seafood, so I can no longer indulge in it...which is a shame - this looks amazing!

  13. Oooooo - I love the pistachio crust with the salmon Rosemary. And it's good for us too? Fabulous. By the way, I am going to have to check out your ice cream cake that you mentioned - it sounds divine.

  14. I agree that it's easy to overcook salmon. I'm always watching to make sure it doesn't come out of the oven too dry. I love the pistachio crust. Wonderful flavors in this dish!

  15. What a lovely recipe. This looks and sounds delicious. I'm in the PNW and we love salmon here. Your recipe will be put to good use. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  16. I was an adult before I tasted salmon except out of the can. I love it in all forms and we have it often. Can't wait to add this recipe to my repertoire!


  17. I love salmon and love pistachio; together must taste heavenly. Thank you for sharing this healthy recipe that I am saving.

  18. This looks great--I love the idea of pistachios on salmon (which is in overabundant supply in Alaska, and needs a good garnish to be interesting).

  19. Thanks for stopping by my blog and allowing me to find yours. What a delicious and healthy way to eat dinner. I usually eat salmon once a week and now I need to put pistachios on my list for the next dinner.

  20. What a delicious combination! I'm actually a fairly recent salmon convert, and pistachios seem like the perfect companion!

  21. Hello...I thought I am Nuts who adds nuts and seeds to almost everything. How happy I am to see this delightful combination of salmon and pistachios.

  22. Salmon is a real family favourite in our house and as lovers of pistachios, this recipe would be a huge hit. Looks fabulous!


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