Walnut Crusted Salmon with Stewed Chickpeas and Kale
Chef Alex Stratta
Salmon is one of the most popular seafood choices among consumers, but to keep interest high, it pays to change up the usual preparation methods. Chef Alex Stratta puts a flavorful twist on the fillets by coating them with a walnut crust and serving the salmon along with a nutritious side of stewed kale and chickpeas.
Walnut crusted salmon
¾ cup walnut pieces
¼ cup butter
8 tsp. dry breadcrumbs
1½ tbsp. chopped chives
6 salmon fillets
Stewed kale and chickpeas
1½ heads kale (about ¾ lb. total), washed, dried and tough stems removed
1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
¼ tsp. dried red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup chicken stock
1½ cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas or garbanzos, rinsed and drained
- For salmon, combine walnuts and butter in food processor; process until nuts are finely ground, stopping once or twice to scrape down sides of container. Add breadcrumbs, chives and a pinch each of salt and pepper; process until blended. Scrape into a small bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Coat a large baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Season salmon fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper and place, skin side-down, in baking pan. Using your fingers, press and pat 2-3 tablespoons walnut crust mixture in a thin layer over each piece of salmon.
- For stewed kale and chickpeas, cut kale leaves into strips about an inch wide; set aside. Heat olive oil in large, deep pot over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, until garlic begins to brown.
- Add kale; season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir and toss to coat kale with oil and garlic mixture. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring often, until kale begins to wilt. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock; cover pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring once or twice, for 15 minutes.
- Add chickpeas and remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock. Cover and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 15–20 minutes longer, until chickpeas and kale are very tender.
- Bake salmon in preheated 400 F. oven for 15-18 minutes, until crust has browned lightly around the edges. To serve, spoon kale mixture into warm bowls or plates; top with a piece of walnut-crusted salmon.
Photo courtesy of California Walnuts