Salmon With Secret Pesto
Hayden loves salmon, and he loves the idea of sauce (probably for its potential mess). When I told him this was “Secret Pesto” he went after it with enthusiasm and cleaned his plate! The “secret” ingredient is… collard greens! Tossing some greens into your pesto makes it just that much better for you, and it’s a good way to use up what is already in your refrigerator. I happened to have some collards, so that’s what I chose- any greens will do- arugula is one of my favorites. The trick with collards, is that they need to be cooked a bit to unbind the nutrients so your body can absorb them. I am hoping that using warm elements in the pesto served this purpose. Today, I had the luxury of cooking while Scott took Hayden on a hunt for sticks, so I was able to take more photos than usual! If you’ve been wondering how to cook salmon, or how to cool collard greens, try this dish.
1 lb salmon
3/4 lb pasta
2 cups packed basil leaves
1/2 bunch collard greens (about 8 leaves)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese*
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil plus 1 tsp
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced (divided)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp salt
salt, pepper to taste
Remove tough stems from collards, and coarsely chop leaves. Using a food processor, combine collards, basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse for a few seconds until mixed. In a skillet or saucepan, heat about 1/4 cup olive oil with 3 crushed garlic cloves, over low heat. Cook until just sizzling and bubbling. Remove from heat, and add to pesto mixture. Pulse again, adding remaining oil until smooth. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, and put back into pot while still HOT. Immediately stir in several large scoops of pesto (you should have a little pesto left, for spreading on a turkey sandwich or tossing in with a salad for lunch), cover with lid to keep warm.
In a medium sized skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil on medium heat. Take remaining garlic clove and rub into flesh side of fish with your fingers, then lightly salt and pepper fish. Place in skillet skin side up, and cook 3-5 minutes per side. Serve on top of pasta. Serves 3-4.
* I have found a Three Cheese Blend at Whole Foods that include parmesan, fontina, and asiago cheeses. I often use this instead of parmesan… creamy, nutty flavor!