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Grilled Salmon with Walnut-Arugula Pesto

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Serves 4

  • by David Bonom from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

Arugula gives this pesto a deliciously peppery finish, which complements the richness of the salmon. 

  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh arugula (2-1/2 oz.)
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil (about 1/2 oz.)
  • 3 Tbs. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the grill pan
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 6- to 8-oz. skinless salmon fillets
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly on a plate, about 3 minutes, and then transfer to a food processor. Add the arugula, basil, Parmigiano, and garlic and process until the mixture is very finely chopped, about 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add 4 Tbs. of the oil until well combined. If you like, add 1 Tbs. water to thin the pesto. Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with salt.

Heat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Rub the salmon fillets all over with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Sprinkle all over with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Put the fillets on the grill pan, skinned side up, and cook until well marked, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until opaque in the center, about 5 minutes more. Serve with the pesto.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with lemony broccoli and buttered orzo.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 490; Fat (g): 28; Fat Calories (kcal): 250; Saturated Fat (g): 3.5; Protein (g): 42; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15; Carbohydrates (g): 2; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): 290; Cholesterol (mg): 110; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Excellent! I put the salmon on the grill. Will definitely make this again.

This was a hit! Two kids (10 & 7) and one big kid (42) thought it was fabulous. It was hurricane Sandy the night we made it so no BBQ or grill available so I baked the salmon at about 400 for 15 minutes, just with a little salt and pepper and olive oil. Delish! I also used romano instead of parm just for a little extra kick. Nice & easy and gives your salmon a little something special for a weeknight.

Quite tasty! I cut the recipe in half for just the two of us but there was still plenty of pesto left over. I grilled the salmon. Good presentation!

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