Fig Crusted Salmon {AIP, Paleo}

Have you figured out by now how much I LOVE salmon. If you really ‘are what you eat’ then I’m going to turn pink and start swimming upstream. Speaking of being what you eat, salmon is a perfect example since they (at least the wild ones) are pink-red in color because they eat some many shrimp and other crustaceans. If you were an animal whose color was affected by what you eat, what color do you think that you’d be? Come on, be honest…. green from spinach or orange from sweet potatoes or…

While we’re on the subject of salmon. I think it goes without saying that the best salmon to eat is wild caught. While I was in the states last month, I was thrilled to find wild caught salmon in the frozen section at Aldi for an affordable price. I’ve yet to find affordable wild caught salmon in Dubai, so I generally choose organic (which I assume means organic fed farmed fish – not ideal, but better than no salmon at all). If you’re wondering about the importance of eating fish,  here’s a great article from ‘the paleo mom’ that answers many of your fish eating questions. 
If you live in the States (near an Aldi), I was really excited to see frozen wild caught Alaskan red salmon and frozen wild caught pink salmon there when I was in NC last month. I was also really impressed with how affordable this fish was. Plus, it thawed and cooked just like fresh. There really is no excuse for eating more salmon. 
I mentioned before that I love salmon and would be happy eating it every day, but one thing I may not have ever mentioned is that for about 2 years, long before AIP, I was a pescatarian.  I had gone off of gluten and dairy and soy and sugar and all meats with added hormones or antibiotics, so I decided to take it a step further and eat fish. Primarily I ate salmon and tuna 2-3 times a week. Two things go without saying… (1) I came up with LOTS and LOTS of different ways to eat fish and (2) as much as I love fish, there were days when I was dreaming of giant juicy steaks (kind of like when Fred Flintstone would get hit on the head). 

But, even after my fish-only eating years, I had never tried the combination of salmon and figs. But, I had a bunch of figs and brought home a beautiful piece of salmon, so I thought…let’s give this a try. It turned out to be my new favorite way to enjoy salmon. You get the sweetness of the figs and cinnamon with the savory flavors of salmon and garlic. Plus, the fig topping caramelizes in the oven leaving the salmon flaky and perfectly cooked. This is sweet and savory goodness that you just want to dig into.

Fig Crusted Salmon {AIP, Paleo}

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

1 pound salmon – cut into portions
3 dried figs- chopped
1 date – pitted
1/2 cup water
1/8 t cinnamon powder
1/4 t pink himalayan salt
1/2 T garlic powder
1/4 cup orange juice – fresh squeezed

(1) preheat oven to 350F
(2) line a roasting pan with parchment paper and place salmon (skin side down) on paper
(3) Make fig topping- Place all other ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Simmer 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid is cooked off. Transfer to a food processor and process to a smooth consistency.
(4) evenly spread the fig topping on the fish
(5) bake for 18-22 – depending on thickness of salmon pieces and how well done you like your salmon. I prefer mine slightly undercooked, so take it out after about 18 minutes.
(6) let salmon rest on stovetop or counter for 3-4 minutes to finish cooking
(7) serve with roasted veggies and simple salad for a complete meal.

** See below for print friendly recipe

* This recipe was shared on Phoenix Helix AIP Roundtable


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