Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

I love salmon because it is so easy to prepare, is healthy, and is not “fishy” tasting.  This salmon is pan fried, then topped with a pesto made with the fresh flavors of Latin America.  Did you know that you can use the small stems between the leaves?  It’s true.  They have great flavor, just like the leaves.  Usually cut the stems below the leaves and just toss the whole thing into the food processor.  If you are chopping by hand, it is just as easy to chop the stems along with the leaves.

Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons toasted shelled pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets (1-inch thick), skin removal optional

In a food processor, pulse together cilantro, 1/4 cup oil, pepitas, water, lime juice, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Continue to process until nearly smooth, or to desired consistency.

Season the salmon with the remaining salt and pepper.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Cook salmon until it just begins to brown, turning once, a total of 7 to 9 minutes.  Remove to a plate and cover lightly with foil to retain heat.

Wipe excess oil from the skillet.  Heat pesto mixture, while stirring, until hot, about 1 minute.  Serve with salmon.

Serves 4.

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