You may have heard that salmon is super healthy. It’s incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to our health but hard to come by in food. I am generally not a huge fish/seafood person (people who know me have heard me claim that I don’t eat anything that lives under water!), but after learning about the health benefits, I was convinced to give salmon a try. I tried to maximize my chances of liking it – my first piece of salmon was at Atlantic Grill, one of the best seafood restaurants in Manhattan. Then I made it myself using this recipe from Epicurious, which has the most delicious marinade. Both tries were successful, but Atlantic Grill is really expensive and the marinade recipe requires a lot of ingredients that aren’t easy to always have on hand.
Then I found this maple-glazed salmon recipe from Real Simple magazine, and I was blown away. I mean seriously, maple syrup? How can you go wrong with that? And the glaze has just 2 ingredients which I ALWAYS have in my fridge! The original recipe suggests making it with pineapple, which I have done, but it really isn’t necessary – you can serve the glazed salmon with whatever sides you want (my favorites are generally brown rice, sweet potatoes, and/or broccoli, but in the photo below we had cheddar-broccoli sticks, salad, and whole wheat rolls). I’ve gotten to the point where I actually enjoy salmon simply with some lemon juice, salt, and pepper, but this is my go-to recipe when I feel like adding a little more flavor.
adapted from Real Simple
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 6-8 ounce wild Alaskan salmon fillets*
Pineapple and crushed red pepper (optional)
Preheat broiler on high, and cover a small baking sheet with foil.
Whisk together maple syrup and mustard in a very small saucepan (it helps to have a butter warmer for this). Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until somewhat thickened. Turn off heat.
Place salmon skin side down on prepared baking sheet, pat dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon glaze over salmon, creating a thin coat and reserving remaining glaze.
If you are using pineapple, cut into 1/2 inch thick triangles, place on baking sheet around the salmon, and sprinkle with a few flakes of crushed red pepper.
Broil until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily, approximately 8 minutes. Remove skin from salmon and drizzle salmon and pineapple, if using, with remaining glaze.
*In my opinion, using wild Alaskan salmon is essential. Without going into too much detail, farmed salmon is not as healthy for us, not as tasty, and bad for the environment. It is worth the money to get the wild, sustainable variety. If you’re looking for a bargain, my Trader Joe’s sells frozen wild Alaskan salmon filets for $7/lb, which is amazing. You can also buy canned wild Alaskan salmon for very reasonable prices, which I think is still better than buying farmed salmon – check out my recipe for salmon cakes for one idea of how to use it!