Baked Side of Salmon with Fresh Herb Pesto


A moist side of salmon is wonderfully seasoned in a flavourful marinade and then topped with a fresh herb and garlic pesto upon serving.


Baked Side of Salmon with Fresh Herb Pesto

Ingredients                               Makes: 4 to 5 servings
1 wild side of salmon, fresh or thawed in the fridge
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh basil
2 Tbsp fresh mint
1/4 cup pine nuts ~or~ de-shelled pistachios
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste
lemon wedges (garnish)

Preheat oven and prepare baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil that is long enough to fold up around the side of the salmon. About twice the width of the baking sheet. You want the length so that you can tent the side of salmon for baking.

Marinate the salmon. Sprinkle a few drops of olive oil in center of foil. Place the thawed salmon skin side down on the foil, then sprinkle it evenly with the thyme, salt and pepper and then rub the seasoning gently into the salmon.

In a small bowl combine the maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the minced garlic. Drizzle the marinade over the side of the salmon covering its surface with the mixture.

Prepare salmon for baking. Fold up the edges of the foil and carefully wrap the side of salmon. Seal the sides and ends of the foil but be sure to leave a bit of a pocket on the top.

Bake salmon. Bake the salmon on the baking sheet in the oven. Salmon usually takes about 4 to 5 minutes per pound to cook. The average side of salmon may take about 20 minutes.

Make the pesto. While the salmon is baking make the pesto. In a food processor combine the pesto ingredients; the garlic, the fresh parsley, basil and mint leaves, the pine nuts, olive oil and the sea salt and pepper to taste. Puree the mixture in the food processor, scraping down the sides as needed until evenly mixed.  Give the pesto a taste test and add any additional seasonings as desired. Transfer pesto to a small dish and set aside until salmon is finished baking and ready to serve.

Test Salmon for readiness. When salmon is cooked through it can be easily flaked with a fork. Carefully check the thickest part of the salmon to ensure it is ready. Remove the salmon from the oven and open up the foil to expose the fully cooked salmon.

Serve the salmon with the prepared pesto. Separate the salmon into 4 or more servings. The skin should easily come off at this time, remove the skin if desired. Add a scoop of the pesto to the top of the salmon and garnish with a lemon wedge when ready to serve.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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