Have you ever stuck your fork into a fillet of glazed fish that looked so pretty and inviting, but you were taken aback by the sweetness? If so, you might like this Honey-Dijon and Pecan Baked Salmon.

The glaze is made with equal parts honey and mustard for a balance of sweet and tangy. It’s slathered on a salmon fillet, which is then dusted with a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs, chopped pecans and garlic salt. (You can use whole wheat breadcrumbs and add your own Italian seasoning if you prefer.) Tired of salmon? Try this dish with arctic char.

The salmon is baked just until the topping is golden brown for a crisp exterior atop a flaky, moist fish. It’s an easy, fast, but still flavorful sheet pan supper. To make it a meal, we added asparagus to the sheet pan, which were done when the fish was ready, but you could serve it with salad, too.

The recipe comes from “The Healthy Swaps Cookbook” (Page Street Publishing 2021) by Danielle Davis, who blogs at Daniliciousdishes.com. The book features popular dishes with suggestions for reinventing them using less white sugar and flour and making leaner and healthier protein choices.

Davis’s goal is for you to dig into the dishes you crave, but with little twists. If you’ve wanted to experiment with the varieties of flour available, for example, she offers sweet and savory options that won’t require you to stretch your imagination or your pantry stock, including tempting sounding almond flour chicken tenders and lemon bars using nut flour. She makes everything-bagel-spiced sweet potato slices into “buns” for sliders and turns out an Alfredo using a creamy cashew blend instead of heavy cream.

For the holidays, I want to try her whipped feta with hot honey with crisp whole wheat bread and maybe her brown butter pumpkin chocolate chip cookies – both of which I found on her website.

After reading through her recipes, I found my brain sparking with ideas for healthier variations of my favorite dishes. As we head into the holiday season with its excesses, it was just the little inspiration I needed. Maybe it will help you, too.

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Honey-Dijon and Pecan Baked Salmon With Asparagus

Active time: 15 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes

4 servings

In this recipe from “The Healthy Swaps Cookbook” by Danielle Davis, salmon is covered in a honey-Dijon glaze, coated in a pecan crumble and baked. To make this a complete meal, we added asparagus to cook beside the fish. Or, you could serve the salmon with or on a green salad.

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling pan and drizzling on fish, divided

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

4 (4-ounce) 1-inch thick or thinner skinless salmon fillets (see NOTE)

1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt, divided

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, woody ends trimmed (see NOTE)

Freshly cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more as needed

Lemon wedges, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a large, rimmed baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey and 1 tablespoon of the oil and until combined. Place the fillets on one side of the prepared baking sheet and brush with the mustard mixture over the top. In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, pecans, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil. Sprinkle this mixture evenly on top of the salmon fillets. Drizzle with additional oil, if desired.

On the other side of the baking sheet, add the asparagus in as much of a single layer as possible. Drizzle the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with pepper and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Bake the salmon and vegetables for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the topping turns golden brown, checking after 10 minutes. To see if the salmon is done, slice into the thickest piece with a sharp knife. The meat should begin to flake and be opaque with a slight translucency in the middle. The asparagus should be dull-green and tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.

Transfer the baking sheet to a heatproof surface, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

NOTE: You can ask your fishmonger to remove the skin from the salmon. Some salmon skin will slip off easily. If it doesn’t, place the fillet skin-side down, and using a sharp knife, start at the thin end of the fillet and slice between the salmon and the skin. Using a towel, if necessary, grasp the skin with one hand while using the other to slice, slanting the blade toward the skin. Or, if you prefer the skin on, leave it.

Nutrition information per serving (1 salmon fillet, a dozen asparagus) | Calories: 556; Total Fat: 33 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 94 mg; Sodium: 623 mg; Carbohydrates: 27 g; Dietary Fiber: 6 g; Sugar: 13 g; Protein: 40 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

Adapted from “The Healthy Swaps Cookbook” (Page Street Publishing, 2021) by Danielle Davis


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