March means maple season in New England, and while there are countless ways to enjoy pure maple syrup at breakfast and dessert, it’s also a wonderful ingredient for lending sweetness to savory dishes like baked beans, glazed spareribs, and roasted vegetables. This Baked Salmon with Maple-Mustard Sauce is another good example — taking advantage of the sweetness of maple syrup and tangy zip of Dijon mustard in a creamy sauce.
In fact, the benefits of this dish extend beyond a celebration of maple. Highly nutritious, salmon is an excellent source of high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and most notably, their high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Because omega-3’s can only be obtained from what we eat, working salmon into your diet (herring and tuna are other good choices) is a terrific way to get the fatty acid’s numerous health benefits.
The sauce here is simple — Dijon mustard and pure maple syrup are whisked together with a little mayonnaise and herbs. The mayonnaise helps the sauce stick to the fish, and lends moisture to the salmon while it bakes. Since it’s March I didn’t have any fresh herbs on hand so I used dried, but fresh herbs would make the sauce even better. I used parsley, but dill, cilantro, or tarragon would also work.
The recipe is for 4 servings but I was only making 2, so what you see is half the amount.
The maple-mustard sauce is thick enough to spoon on top of the fillets after dusting them with a little salt and pepper to taste.
Then the fillets are baked for 10 minutes or until they flake easily with a fork (mine took closer to 13 minutes, but my oven runs a little funny sometimes). Wanting to continue the savory maple theme, I drizzled fresh, halved Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil and pure maple syrup. The syrup caramelizes while the sprouts bake and gives the nutty vegetables a little boost of sweetness.
Beyond pancakes and maple walnut ice cream, how do you like your maple?