Barefoot Contessa Salmon With Macadamia Nuts

Salmon recipe
On my most recent trip to catch salmon in the Columbia River in Astoria OR, we fell a little short of our limit but we still came away with a fair amount of fish, king and coho salmon. 


Good friends, Nick and Caren, always show up ready to help in the kitchen and often offer new and delightful ways to prepare food.  Both of them enjoy the Food Network and other cooking shows and are really great at picking out those special recipes that stand out. 


When asked if they would like to enjoy some of our freshly caught salmon, this recipe jumped out of Caren's mouth and into the skillet.  The recipe was a true winner and I just have to share it. 


It is a recipe that started with one from The Barefoot Contessa but Caren added a slight variation provided by macadamia nuts that were sitting in the pantry.  


Here is the recipe and in my view a truly perfect way to prepare salmon. 
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) salmon fillets, leave the skin on
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • A hand full of macadamia nuts chopped fine.


Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the panko, parsley, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon sea salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper and the chopped macadamia nuts. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir until the crumbs are moist and evenly coated. Set aside.

Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, and generously brush the top and sides of the fillets with Dejon mustard and then sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Press the panko mixture thickly on top of the mustard on each salmon fillet. The mustard will help the panko stick to the salmon.

I use a cast iron skillet coated with olive oil and I make sure the skillet is searing hot. When the oil is very hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, without turning, to brown the skin.

Transfer the pan to the hot oven for 5 to 7 minutes until the salmon is almost cooked and the panko is browned. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the salmon hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

This recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa but we added the macadamia nuts for the variation of this yummy dish.

Copyright 2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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