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The first thing most people think of when they hear “pesto” is probably pasta. Pasta in pesto is a classic, but pesto can also give that same bright, fresh, green flavor to just about anything. I like putting it on sandwiches, meat, vegetables, and especially fish.
Pesto always tastes better when fresh, so making it at home is well worth the effort. Fresh herbs are the main ingredient of pesto, and they lose their flavor quickly after chopping, so the freshest pesto is usually the most flavorful. And making pesto at home is as easy as making a smoothie.
This particular basil-walnut pesto can go on just about anything. To make it, just layer fresh basil leaves and a couple cloves of minced garlic in a blender with some walnuts, grated Parmesan, olive oil, and a bit of lemon juice, then blend everything until it’s combined. If it’s too thick you can thin it out with more olive oil and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper. Take advantage of the freshness by using some of it immediately, and the rest will keep in the refrigerator for a few days.
Baked salmon served with that basil-walnut pesto makes a healthy weeknight dinner in about 20 minutes. Just pat some salmon fillets with paper towels, season them with salt and pepper, and bake them for about 10 to 15 minutes. For some extra-great flavor, pour a mixture of melted butter, white wine, and lemon juice over the fillets before baking them.
As soon as the salmon looks ready, serve it with a spoonful of the basil-walnut pesto spread on top, or serve the pesto on the side and let people apply it themselves at the table.
You can also grill the salmon instead of baking it, and it’s still a simple, elegant, healthful weeknight dinner that you can make in about 20 minutes.
Get the recipe: Baked Pesto Salmon from The Cookie Rookie
More Delicious Salmon Recipes from Kitchn
- Easy 5-Ingredient Teriyaki Salmon
- Trader Joe’s Sheet Pan Crispy Salmon & Veggies
- Easy, Healthy Greek Salmon Salad
- Ottolenghi’s Bridget Jones’s Pan-Fried Salmon with Pine Nut Salsa
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