May 19, 2009

Karen's Baked Pesto Salmon

I love easy and tasty salmon recipes, and this one delivers on both fronts. I am always at a loss with what to do with salmon, and most of the recipes I try are just okay. Not this one...this recipe is exactly what I have been looking for. I've finally found a go-to salmon recipe!!!
Claire's mom, Karen, made this dish for one of our meals in San Diego. The moment I tasted it, I knew I had to copy it as soon as I got home. I would have never had thought to pair salmon and pesto together, but the flavors meld perfectly. When Karen made it, I think I actually had "thirds" on the fish. It was so freakin' delicious!!!

I am going to pair our salmon feast with some steamed veggies and a wild rice pilaf blend from Trader Joe's. As always, I am looking forward to a great dinner. Thanks for the yummy recipe, Karen! (I hope I rewrite this recipe accurately...I am going off of memory, and that can be dangerous.)

Karen's Baked Pesto Salmon

3-4 6 oz. salmon fillet pieces OR 1 large (1-2 lbs.) salmon fillet, with skin on
1 jar of pesto OR 1 cup of homemade pesto
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place salmon fillets on cookie sheet (skin side down, if applicable). Sprinkle a little bit salt and pepper on fish. Pour pesto on salmon fillet(s), spreading with the back of a spoon, so the fish is evenly covered. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved. Remove from oven. If skin is present, lay knife parallel to the skin(horizontally) and wiggle a sharp knife between skin and flesh until the meat of the fish is cut loose and the skin is removed. Serve and enjoy!

Jen's Notes:
I am using frozen (then thawed) salmon fillets from Costco. Also, I can tell you first hand that this meal goes great with a glass of crisp, chilly white wine!

The Result:
Hands down, this is my new favorite salmon recipe! It is awesome! The husband and boy loved it, too. They both agreed this dish has been the best 'at-home' salmon recipe to date. The husband identified that the olive oil in the pesto gives the fish a slightly buttery flavor. I agree...the pesto/olive oil literally makes the fish luscious. I used some homemade pesto that I had frozen/thawed, and that was all that was needed. A 25 minute cook time prepared the fish to a perfect doneness. Fan-freakin'-tastic!!!

(As a side note: Both the husband and Claire pointed out that I use the adjective "fan-freakin'-tastic" a lot. I was using that particular word as a kind of 'good recipe identifier'. When I liked something, I would just quickly scan the comments and if I saw the word "fan-freakin'-tastic" I knew that the dish was a winner. It seems like I have a limited vocabulary, but truly, I was using that word on purpose. At Claire's suggestion, I decided to create a "fan-freakin'-tastic" tag to try and cut down on my over-use of that word. We will see how it goes.)

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