Wild salmon is a well-known Pacific Northwest ingredient, but hazelnuts are just as local so why not combine the two of them into one dinner along with some herbs? I keep it simple with a seared salmon with toasted hazelnut herb butter.
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The salmon is the simplest part of this recipe
You just have to take out the pin bones and season it with salt and pepper. I'll get back to the salmon in a bit.
Movin' on to the toasted hazelnut herb butter ...
Toasting the hazelnuts is as simple as tossing them into a dry skillet and heating them over medium to medium-high heat. Keep them moving around by stirring or swirling the skillet so that they don't burn. They only need 3-5 minutes. Set them aside to cool. When they have cooled, put them in a food processor or the jar of a blender and pulse until finely ground.
It's important to use softened butter. If you buy butter in sticks, you'll use a whole stick, which is 8 Tablespoons, ½ cup, or 4 ounces.
Use a microplane to zest a lemon and chop some chives.
Finally mix the ground hazelnuts with softened butter, lemon zest, and chopped chives. Sounding good, huh?
Let's cook our salmon
After you've seasoned the salmon, press on some toasted hazelnut butter. I say "press" because "spreading" it doesn't work! The slickness of the salmon and the fattiness of the butter just don't mix well.
Place the salmon in the skillet butter side down and cook till the flesh is browning, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn it over using a fish spatula and cook it till it is still translucent inside, but flaking easily. How long this takes is fully dependent on the thickness of the salmon so you can test the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer. Look for about 140 degrees.
Add more hazelnut butter to the top and serve it with lemon wedges.
Other recipes you might like:
Salmon with Toasted Hazelnut Herb Butter
- 1½ pounds wild salmon cut into 4 fillets
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- ½ cup butter (8 Tablespoons, 1 stick, 4 ounces -- all the same thing) softened
- ½ cup hazelnuts (2 ounces) toasted (See notes)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh chives chopped
- zest of one lemon
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Pull the pin bones out of the salmon and season with salt and pepper.
- When the toasted hazelnuts have cooled, put them in a food processor or the jar of a blender and pulse until finely ground. Mix them with the softened butter, lemon zest, and chopped chives.
- Press the toasted hazelnut herb butter onto the salmon. I say "press" because "spreading" it doesn't work! The slickness of the salmon and the fattiness of the butter just don't mix well.
- Preheat a skillet over medium heat, then lay the salmon fillets in butter side down. Let them cook about 5 minutes, then using a fish spatula, turn them over to the skin side. Let them cook for 3-5 minutes longer or until the internal temperature is about 140°F. This time will vary depending on how thick the fillets are.
- Serve with more hazelnut herb butter on the fillets and some lemon wedges.