Grilled Salmon with Cilantro-Pecan Pesto
- ACTIVE: 15 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
At La Biznaga, Fernando López Velarde creates untraditional dishes that nod to local flavors. Here, for instance, he grills salmon until the fish is crackling-crisp, then tops it with a wonderfully bright pesto he makes with cilantroa staple of Mexican cuisinein place of the usual basil.
- 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups lightly packed cilantro
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Four 6- to 7-ounce salmon fillets, with skin
- Light a grill. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pecans in a pie dish and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes. Let the pecans cool, then coarsely chop them.
- In a food processor, combine the pecans with the cilantro, cheese, stock and vinegar and process to a puree. With the machine on, gradually add the olive oil in a thin stream. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
- Oil the grill grates. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and grill the fillets skin side down, over moderately high heat until nicely charred and crisp, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets and grill until just cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Spoon the pesto onto plates. Top with the fillets, skin side up, and serve.
The nutty, herbal pesto makes salmon, already a red-wine-friendly fish, even more suited to a fragrant, light-bodied red like Pinot Noir. Pour one from Oregon's Willamette Valley.