Salmon is not exciting. It’s not kale, it’s not bacon. It’s not a gastropub. It’s not a local, hydroponically-grown micro green.
But salmon has staying power.
It’s not a roasted red pepper or sundried tomato, a.k.a. SO late nineties. It’s never the hot new ingredient, but it’s always there. It’s always reliable. It’s always healthy.
As with most food, its deliciousness lies in the preparation (unlike chocolate, which is delicious in every way). You can make plain old broiled salmon and wonder why your childhood friends have stopped coming over for dinner, OR… you could make Pecan-Crusted Grilled Salmon.
Grilling fish without a safety net (a.k.a. a cedar plank or one of those fish-grilling contraptions I lust over whenever I’m in Williams-Sonoma) makes me anxious because 95% of it ends up falling through the grate no matter what I do, so I take a tip from my favorite Halibut and Corn Hobo Packs: wrap it in foil and use your grill like an oven. There are only 5 ingredients in addition to the salmon, so not only do you have minimal clean-up thanks to the magic of heavy-duty foil, but you have minimal prep. Hellloooo, new weeknight fave.
Crusting things with pecans may be, like, totally passe, but I still love it. And most of the people in the world love it. I’m sure it has made someone’s list of food trends that need to die- not mine. Drenching salmon in sickeningly sweet sauces, however, is a food trend that needs to die stat. This dish keeps things savory with a nice layer of Italian herb butter directly on the salmon and has a nice, slightly sweet pecan topping that melts over the salmon towards the end of its time on the grill. There is savory yin and sweet yang. Namaste.
- 4 6-oz salmon fillets (skin on or off, your preference)
- 2 T unsalted butter, melted
- 1 t Italian Herb blend (I used Penzey's Tuscan Sunset)
- ½ t kosher salt (omit if your herb blend contains salt- mine doesn't)
- ¼ c brown sugar
- ½ c chopped pecans, toasted
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Place the salmon fillets skin side down in the middle of a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil (leave a little space between each one, about a half inch). Stir the herb blend and salt (if using) into the melted butter and brush mixture over the fillets. Seal the foil, but don't wrap it up too tightly. Place on the grill and cook 7-12 minutes (my salmon filets are very thick, so they take the full 12 minutes, but thinner filets, like sockeye, will take less). While the salmon cooks, combine the brown sugar and pecans in a small bowl. When the salmon has about a minute left to go, open the foil packet and press the pecan mixture on top of the filets, re-seal foil, and let it finish cooking. Serve hot. Yum!