Day 73: Roasted Salmon with Pesto

I have decided to clean out my freezer. First to go was a filet of salmon, which I pulled out this morning to thaw. Then when a CTV news reporter and camera came to talk to me about the CBE’s Nutrition Policy, they wanted some quick footage of me in the kitchen preparing something healthy. So there I was, looking all angelic with my slab of salmon, bowl of greens, grape tomatoes, barley and zucchini. Good thing they didn’t show up on rib night.

Which explains why my filet was cut into three pieces – that was a little action for the camera. Normally I would have just cooked it in one piece. Either way.

Now, pesto is something that I wouldn’t have normally had a bottle of in the fridge even a year ago. But since discovering the Pesto, White Bean & Chicken Stew, and that Willem loves it, I now have a jar in the fridge most of the time. It’s easy to find, on grocery store shelves alongside the pasta sauce. I buy the Classico pesto stuff; nothing fancy. Tonight when I pondered what to do with the salmon, I made it easy on myself and slathered a spoonful of pesto on top of each filet. W appears to like salmon already (although like other 2 year olds he enjoys doing a food preference about-face once in awhile) but I figured spreading it with pesto would be akin to spreading a dog’s medicine with peanut butter. It worked.

The best thing about fresh salmon is that it takes 10 minutes to cook: at 425F, 10 minutes per inch of thickness, which usually means about 10 minutes. It’s that easy. You might see ‘Roasted Pesto Salmon’ on a menu or in a cookbook and think it sounds mighty complicated, but it’s absolutely not. It doesn’t even require a recipe. This is all you need to know: 1) put salmon filet(s) skin-side down on a cookie sheet; 2) slather with pesto (sun dried tomato pesto would be good, too); 3) roast at 425F for about 10 minutes per inch. A lot of recipes instruct you to cook salmon until it flakes easily with a fork – at that point, it’s overdone. It should flake easily along the thinner edge, but still be moist and meaty in the middle. Yum.

With it the leftover grainy salad from last night; I have this thing about serving salmon with grainy salads. Not sure where that comes from. I guess it’s just that while I’m at it, I may as well be doubly virtuous.

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March 13 2008 06:56 pm | fish and vegetarian

4 Responses to “Day 73: Roasted Salmon with Pesto”

  1. Dana on 14 Mar 2008 at 8:03 am #

    Yum- it just sounds so much like spring food. Sigh. If only it were spring here in TOronto.

  2. dinner with Julie » Day 128: Hoisin Salmon, Brown & Wild Rice Salad and Sangria on 07 May 2008 at 9:51 pm #

    […] One of the most photo-friendly salads I know is the brown & wild rice salad with dried fruit, parsley and chopped pecans, of which there was plenty left over for dinner. I picked up a filet of salmon this morning, so when the photographer left after 6, all I needed to do was slap it on a cookie sheet and spread a bit of hoisin sauce, straight from the jar, on top, then bake it at 425F for 10 minutes, and dinner was done before the news headlines were over. (W didn’t like the hoisin salmon as much as the pesto salmon.) […]

  3. dinner with Julie » Day 143: Pesto Salmon and Israeli Couscous with Tomatoes, Garlic and Feta on 22 May 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    […] each piece with a spoonful of pesto (sorry for the recurring ingredient, but I know W will eat pesto salmon). Then I rummaged through the fridge and found almost a full pint of wrinkly grape tomatoes, so […]

  4. Potato Pizza with Garlic and Rosemary | dinner with Julie on 10 Sep 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    […] days doing cooking demos at the Kerby Centre Expo I also had copious amounts of quinoa salad and salmon, which I spread with pesto and slid into the same hot oven for about 10 minutes. (What’s […]

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