Though I'm not posting this recipe specifically for Pesach, it can be made on Pesach! I am posting it because it's on my mind since I made it tonight at my parents, in an effort to use up a bag of unsweetened coconut. Now, I am not the world's biggest coconut fan- well, that's being nice... I HATE coconut. The only time I ate and liked coconut was in Hawaii, fresh coconut flesh it was delicious and did NOT taste like the coconut I am used to (see pics below)
Anyway, my mom had no ideas for her salmon, and I saw the bag of coconut & decided that I could figure something out with this ingredient which I so despise. Don't worry, it was actually very delicious- coconut success! One thing to note, it's very important to use UNSWEETENED coconut, because sweetened should only be used for dessert (I also think sweetened coconut makes the coconut flavor far more potent). This particular one (I can't remember the brand) was very finely shredded, so with the addition of a few ingredients, it assumed the role of a perfect crust for the salmon... You can also combine Panko in with the coconut, but for a lighter dish (& because we didn't have any), I didn't use.
Coconut Citrus Crusted Salmon
-4 filets of wild salmon (or you can obviously do this on one large salmon)
-1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
-pinch of salt & freshly cracked lemon pepper
-Zest of a lemon & an orange
-Juice of a lemon, divided
-Juice of half an orange
-Sprinkle of dried dill and dried parsley (or can use fresh)
-In a large bowl, add the salmon filets and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh or dried dill and/or parsley. Pour in half the lemon juice and let the salmon sit for half hour, or while you make the coconut mixture.
-In a bowl, add the coconut, salt, pepper, some garlic powder & paprika, dill, parsley (all these are seasonings so you can add as little or as much as you want, or mix it up depending on your spice preferences)
-Zest half the lemon & orange into the coconut & mix together.
-Pour half the lemon juice and the juice of the orange into the coconut, and mix around with a fork or your fingers. Drizzle in olive oil while mixing in, a little at a time (about 1/4 cup or so) until the mixture resembles sand thats been slightly wet. If it gets too wet, just add some more coconut. You don't want it too dry orelse it will just fall apart on the salmon, but you don't want it to be too gloppy/wet. Find the happy medium by feeling it with your hands.
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the salmon filets on a sprayed baking sheet or a sprayed baking rack fitted atop a baking sheet. Carefully spoon the coconut mixture onto the salmon, a tbsp. at a time, pressing it together on top of the salmon.
-Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden & salmon just flakes off.
-Optional glaze to serve alongside: cook down pineapple puree (canned or fresh) in a small saucepan with a bit of balsamic vinegar uncovered on medium-high heat, until it reduces and resembles a glaze. This is a perfect accompaniment to the tropical coconut theme of the salmon, and wont weigh the light dish down.
(This picture is pre-baking, so the crust is obviously not yet golden!)
I recommend this recipe even for coconut skeptics like myself!