Easy Salmon with Smoked Almond and Orange Salsa

crispy skinned salmon, cooked, with smoked almond and orange salsa on a black plate

Easy dinner, comin’ atchya today. This recipe came about on a particularly busy Sunday. For a long time now, Sundays have been “date night” for Joey and me. Although, he’s not a big fan of that term… apparently it provokes teasing in his group of male friends? Whatever. So, “date night” for us means we sit down together at the counter with a good bottle of wine, we ask Alexa to play whatever music we feel like listening to -actually, sometimes, because I’m a nerd, we pair the type of music with the type of food we’re having: French music with French food, etc. N-e-r-d. So, anyway, wine, music, and we enjoy an appetizer, a nice main course, and a dessert. And we talk and eat, for as long as we want.

Since it’s January and we’re all trying to live our best healthy life I wanted to make salmon for the main course of this meal. However, I’ve really sucked at cooking salmon lately. The past few times I’ve made it, it has been dry and suuuper bland. Well, the guy at the fish counter dropped some knowledge on me, that you all probably already know. Farm-raised salmon is fattier, meaning, less likely to feel like you’re eating construction paper. It can also have less flavor than the wild caught stuff but I’m ok with that. I don’t need salmon to taste extra salmon-y.

crispy-skinned salmon, cooked, with smoked almond and orange salsa on top on a black plate

So, how to cook this new-fangled fatty salmon? With minimal effort, because, hello, we’re busy? Roast it! And get that skin crispy! Do you eat the salmon skin? I never had before but I did eat this skin just because it got so beautifully crispy, I couldn’t not try it. If you don’t eat it, your dog will. Caesar is now requesting it with every meal.

OK, so here’s an easy way to roast salmon and guarantee the crispy skin: move your oven rack to the lowest position and put your baking sheet on it, then preheat the oven to 425. Score the skin of the salmon – make 4 or 5 shallow cuts diagonally across the skin (this helps it stay flat while cooking).


Score the skin by making shallow diagonal slits with your knife. This is farm-raised salmon – look at that fat content:)!

Then, coat the salmon with olive oil and season it with salt and pepper. Oil the hot baking sheet and place the salmon on, skin-side down. It’ll start sizzling immediately and you can slide it into the oven to cook for 20 minutes. Please use/buy/steal a metal spatula to get the salmon off the pan. It’s the only way to not leave shards of all your effort stuck to the baking sheet.

What goes on top of your perfectly cooked salmon? Something crunchy, spicy, sweet, and acidic. The salsa comes together in a snap while the salmon is in the oven. Start with 4 oranges, supremed. That’s right – I said it. Supreme your oranges. Cut the rind and all the white pith away from the flesh, then cut down the side of each white line of membrane, and pop out the slices of orange flesh. This leaves you with sweet, soft orange and no bitter, stringy membrane. Chop those slices into smaller pieces and combine with minced jalapeno, cilantro, the juice of a lime, and 1/2 a cup of chopped smoked almonds. The smoked almonds are kinda what make me love this dish. If you can’t get them or don’t want to, use regular almonds with an extra pinch of salt or just leave ’em out. They are reeeaally good in this though.

crispy skinned salmon, cooked, with smoked almond and orange salsa on top, on a black plate

Finally, serve your salmon with the salsa, over rice if you like. Ask Alexa to shuffle songs by Maluma, if you’re a nerd. Then, we can chat about how juicy and velvety the salmon was and how the salsa was the perfect crunchy, spicy, sweet compliment.

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Easy Salmon with Smoked Almond and Orange Salsa

crispy skinned salmon, cooked, with smoked almond and orange salsa on a black plate

Juicy, velvety roasted salmon topped with crunchy, spicy, sweet smoked almond and orange salsa – all ready in under 30 minutes!

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
Scale

Ingredients

for the salmon

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 lbs of salmon, skin-on, bones removed, sliced into 4 fillets

for the salsa

  • 4 oranges, supremed (see instructions)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (remove the seeds if you don’t like it spicy)
  • 1/2 C minced cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 C smoked almonds, chopped
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

for the salmon

  1. Move your oven rack to the lowest position, place a baking sheet on the rack, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Score the salmon fillets by making 4 or 5 shallow diagonal slits across the skin of the salmon. Don’t cut into the meat. 
  3. Coat the salmon fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Once the oven is preheated, use a pot holder to remove the baking sheet from the oven and drizzle it with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  5. Place the salmon fillets, skin-side down, on the hot baking sheet and slide it onto the bottom rack of your oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the internal temp registers 125 degrees.

For the salsa

  1. Supreme the oranges: Cut the rind and all the white pith away from the flesh, then cut down the side of each white line of membrane, and pop out the slices of orange flesh. Chop each slice into 1/2″ pieces and place in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the minced jalapeno, minced cilantro, and chopped smoked almonds to the bowl with the oranges. Squeeze in the juice of the lime and taste. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

The salmon and salsa go well with rice, if you like. Enjoy!

Notes

The smoked almonds really add great flavor and crunch to the salsa and the smokiness pairs really well with the salmon. I use Blue Diamond brand but if you can’t get them or don’t want them, regular almonds are ok. If they are not salted, make sure to add an extra pinch of salt to the salsa. You can also leave the almonds out entirely, if you prefer.

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