Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cilantro Pepita Pesto Crusted Roasted Salmon

Live from New York, it's Sunday morning, way too early, thus I'm updating my blog!
Some of you were inquiring about the dinner I made last week for my family, which included a Cilantro Pepita Pesto Crusted Salmon and Sweet Pepper Slaw.

The pesto was dynamite. Here's how you make it:
There are no "true" measurements for the ingredients, it's more of a "to taste" type of recipe.
So, first off, roast or toast your raw, unsalted pepitas (about 3/4 cup).
Whats a pepita you ask? A pepita is a pumpkin seed which has been hulled. They are green and oval shaped and nutrition wise, they pack a punch: they are a great source of polyunsaturated fats, protein and zinc.
I put mine in my toaster oven for just a few minutes, just until they start to darken and become aromatic. Let them cool while you deal with the other ingredients:

Cilantro leaves, a good size bunch worth
Lime Juice, fresh squeezed from 3 limes
Garlic, chopped, 1-3 cloves depending on your raw garlic tolerance level
Water, about 1/4 cup
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
S+P (I use sea salt)

I used my food processor to make the pesto, but a blender would work just as well.
Put your cilantro leaves, cooled pepitas, lime juice, and garlic in processor bowl, start to process and add water. Drizzle in the oil until the consistency is paste like. Taste and season with S+P.

For the salmon, I used fillets with the skin off.
Preheat oven to 400 while making the pesto.
Heat an oven proof saute pan over med-high.
Dress the fillets with S+P, and a bit of the pesto on the top of the fillet. Put into pan, skin side up and let it cook without touching for around 5 minutes.
Flip your fillets, add a bit more pesto on top and place in oven to finish cooking.
That's all folks!
Very yummy.

For the slaw, I simply cheated and used a bag of Broccoli Slaw - it has shredded broccoli stems, cabbage and carrots in it. I added in thinly sliced sweet peppers (any or all colors), and fresh chopped cilantro.
For the dressing use equal parts extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lime juice and non-fat plain yogurt, with salt to taste. You don't really need more than 2 TBS of each, but if you like alot of dressing, you might want to make more. (sorry, no picture of slaw)...
That's all she wrote! Enjoy, and email me if you have any questions!

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