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Herb Crusted Salmon with Pistou

Today's simple but sensational recipe comes to us from Ashley Baqeuro—author of The Quick and Dirty Cook blog—who we met when she wrote recently to compliment our Alaskan Weathervane scallops and share her recipe … which we'll run soon.

We love the recipes and photos on her blog, asked Ashley to allow us to publish some, and she kindly agreed.

Here's how Ashley describes her approach and philosophy:

“Because I'm often pressed for time I tend to cook in a rather quick and dirty manner. I create my own recipes and frequently amend recipes to make them quicker and easier to cook. This is a cooking blog for normal people… those that have busy lives and need fast, flexible recipes.”

“The key to my food philosophy is moderation, moderation, moderation. I believe that you should try to eat a whole-real foods diet... like all other things, knowledge is key and knowing where your food comes from and how it is produced is no exception.”

“Pistou is France's answer to Italy's pesto. It is a sauce/condiment made of crushed basil, garlic, and olive oil—quite possibly 3 of my top 10 ingredients. I have also heard of versions that include crushed tomatoes.”

And here's how Ashley describes today's recipe:

“In this recipe, the tomatoes are added as a topping instead. Also, traditionally pistou is made with a mortar and pestle; because I don't have that I simply used a food processor. This is a fairly easy, healthy and flavorful fish recipe that has beautiful color and several very distinct and exciting key flavors."

“Served with a cold glass of white wine and paired with a fresh salad—perfect.”

Herb Crusted Salmon with Pistou
Adapted by Ashley Baquero from a recipe in Simply Salmon by James Peterson

Cook time 45 minutes
Serves 4

4 wild salmon fillet portions (sockeye, silver, or king), thawed
Dried herb mix (i.e. thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, etc)
1 large bunch basil, about 1 cup
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 chopped plum tomatoes

  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  • While the fish sits, you can make the pistou—First you will blanch the basil [dunk it in boiling water briefly, then in icy water] which allows it to retain its brilliant green color.

  • Bring a small pot of water to boil with a dash of salt, plunge in the basil leave and stir, no more than 2 seconds. Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water.

  • Place the basil, garlic cloves, and 1/2 cup water in the processor—blend until the mixture is minced. Then you place the basil mixture into a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  • Take the fish out and pat dry and season liberally with your herb mixture, press the herbs into the fish to adhere.

  • Sauté your fish—if you have skin-on fillets, sauté the skin side down first and for a bit longer than the other side. Make sure your pan is hot and the olive oil is very hot, place down and gently rock so it doesn't stick. Continue to sauté until cooked to your desired temperature, turning once.

  • Place the pistou in a small saucepan and heat with the chopped tomatoes, on medium heat, just to warm. Spoon the pistou over the salmon.

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