My F&W
quick save (...)

Pesto-Crusted Salmon

  • FAST

Serve this basil-infused fish with steamed fresh spinach dressed with butter and lemon.

  1. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  2. 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  3. 6 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  4. 1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons olive oil
  5. 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. Six 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  8. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  1. In a food processor, pulse the garlic and pine nuts to a paste. Add the basil and process to a paste. With the machine on, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the olive oil, scraping down the sides once, to make a smooth pesto sauce. Scrape the pesto into a bowl and stir in 1 cup of the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large skillet, warm 2 teaspoons of the oil over high heat. Season the salmon fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. When the oil is almost smoking, add 3 of the fillets and brown them quickly, turning once, about 1 minute per side. Repeat with the remaining fillets and brown them quickly, turning once, about 1 minute per side. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Let the salmon cool to room temperature.
  3. Spread 2 tablespoons of the pesto on 1 side of each fillet. Gently pack the remaining bread crumbs on top of the pesto.
  4. Warm 1 teaspoon of the olive oil in each of 2 large ovenproof skillets over moderate heat. When the pans are hot, carefully add the salmon fillets, pesto side down, Put 1 piece of the butter next to each fillet to melt into the oil. Cook until the bread crumbs are toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the skillets to the oven without turning the fillets and bake for about 5 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked through. Serve the fillets pesto side up.
Make Ahead The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Pour a thin film of olive oil over the surface to prevent discoloration and cover tightly.

Suggested Pairing

Serve with a West Coast Pinot Noir, such as Foris from Oregon or Acacia Carneros from California.



Average Rating



Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    You might also like
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

    Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.

    Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world's most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 19-21.