Almond-Crusted Salmon and Panzanella Salad

I know it’s now fall, but scents of the summer are still in the air. Tomatoes are not so bad, so I thought I’d share these two delicious dishes that I created in the summer.

The Saturday food market in Alba was full of ripe, local fruits and vegetables, and freshly caught fish throughout the summer. I am a pretty big almond fan, and I remembered having a nice salmon dish somewhere that had almond slices on top. But I didn’t go with just almond slivers on a baked fish. I wanted almond chunks full of flavor and mixed with other delightful ingredients that compliment the italian salmon. And so, using almonds from Sicily, I developed a recipe that had my parents, and myself, claiming it was the “best salmon I’ve ever had.” And that’s not only because I had the freshest fish available.

The farmer’s market in Alba. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the fish vendors.

With every meal, you need to have a side. Normally, my family makes a simple salad to go with every meal. But since I was feeling creative, I did not think a “simple salad” would be a right fit for my new salmon recipe. During the summer, every salad we make will include our neighbor’s large Cuore di bue tomatoes. So I decided to make a traditional Panzanella salad, a little like the one my school would serve occasionally. (When I say my school would make it, it means it’s good. My school had professional chefs serving three course meals daily.) Panzanella salad always has soft bread, mostly the insides, incorporated into the dish so it softens and soaks up the vinaigrette. Using the abnormally large tomatoes from Giuseppe, the old farmer next door, I made the “salad of the summer” with cucumbers, onions, and soft bread from the farmer’s market in Alba. 

Almond-Crusted Salmon

(Ingredients for about two medium-sized fillets)

  • Fresh Salmon
  • Parsley
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Almonds
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. Chop almonds roughly, so you still get a nice big crunch.
  3. Combine almonds, bread crumbs, and parsley in a bowl.
  4. Dip top side of salmon fillet in egg whites, and then dip top of the salmon in dry mixture
  5. Season with salt and pepper to your liking, but do not be too stingy with the salt!
  6. Bake for about 12-14 minutes, or until the salmon’s center is a little darker than the outside of the fish.
  7. Squeeze lemon juice over the baked salmon, and your meal is served!

Panzanella Salad

(Based on the number of servings, and which ingredients you like more, you can decide the amounts to your liking)

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Red Onions
  • Bread with puffy, soft insides
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Splash of red wine vinegar (optional)
  1. Chop tomatoes and cucumbers into nice chunks. Finely chop the red onion.
  2. Cut the bread into chunks, using mostly the inside and little crust
  3. Combine the ingredients along with fresh basil
  4. Be generous in giving the salad a nice amount of olive oil!
  5. A splash of red wine vinegar, a touch of lemon juice from a fresh lemon, and a good amount of salt and pepper will give the salad its flavor!

13 responses on “Almond-Crusted Salmon and Panzanella Salad

  1. Hi Ben, nonni are so excited about your blog!!! It’s great and I’ll should try to make this salmon…seems to be pretty good. A kiss from Veneto and I’ll let you have the recipe of Sardine in saor…zia Babi

    • Ciao Zia! Grazie per visitare il mio sito! Adesso, devo practicare il mio italiano per non domenticarlo, e provare a raggiungere al tuo livelo di inglese. Dovete provare il salmone porque li in Portoguaro, con i cuoci della familia, potete fare un pesce spectacolare!
      Ci vediamo subito! Spero che in inverno!

  2. Thanks Ben for the great almond encrusted salmon recipe. Comments last night ranged from “very good” to “superb” to “excellent”. You are making me look like a genius in the kitchen. Keep the recipes coming.

  3. Ben – I want to thank your Virginia/Florida based Nonna for tipping me off to your impressive blog. I will be picking up some good salmon this week so that I can try out your creative almond crusted recipe.

    Gorman reilly

  4. Ben! I will try this but have a feeling it will not be nearly as good as when you make it. Your pictures are spectacular!

Comments are wonderful!