Tender, rich salmon is topped with a sweet pea pesto for the perfect spring meal. I serve mine over zucchini noodles, but pasta, rice, or mixed vegetables would work too!
It’s finally starting to feel like spring here on the east coast. Well, except for today. It’s cold and cloudy. Monday was absolutely gorgeous – 70’s and not a cloud in the sky. It felt so good to spend the day outside in a t-shirt and be comfortable! I don’t know about you, but when the weather is nice it makes me want to eat light and veggie-packed meals.
I love everything about today’s recipe – it’s fresh, healthy, easy, and the perfect springtime meal. If you’re trying to add more salmon into your diet, you will love this one! Peas are one of my favorite spring vegetables because they are so sweet and really versatile. You can toss them into rice and pasta dishes, soups, eat them on their on, or make pesto!
Salmon is such a great fish because it pairs well with so many different flavors. Since it’s a rich and hearty fish it stands up well to strong flavors, but it’s perfect with delicate flavors as well. Usually when we think of pesto we think of the robust flavors of garlic and basil, which I love and pairs well with salmon. However, using sweet peas as the base of your pesto makes for a more delicate version of the classic sauce.
It’s sweet, nutty, and has a nice hint of fresh garlic. You can use this pea pesto just as you would regular basil pesto – as a pasta sauce, a sandwich spread, a dip, etc. It goes so well with salmon, which makes the perfect healthy dinner!
If you can get fresh peas, definitely use them. You can usually find them at farmer’s markets throughout the spring, but you’ll have to shuck them and blanch them before using. Frozen (thawed) peas are convenient and work just as well!
To the peas, you’ll add fresh parsley and a little bit of mint (pairs great with peas). Fresh garlic kicks things up and I use almonds for the nut component – you can use whatever your favorite nut is or what you have on hand. You can’t have pesto without cheese… well, you could, but I never leave the cheese out! I use pecorino romano here because it’s a bit more pungent than parmesan cheese, but if you have parmesan on hand you can use that.
If you love pesto you’re going to love this variation. It’s definitely going to be in my fridge throughout the spring because it’s so versatile!
- 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen (thawed) Peas
- ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint
- 1 Clove Garlic, peeled
- 3 Tablespoons Almonds
- ¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Grated Romano (or parmesan) Cheese
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 4 (6 oz.) Salmon Filets
- Olive Oil, for drizzling
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450º.
- Add the peas, parsley, mint, garlic, and almonds to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until finely chopped. Slowly stream in the olive oil with the machine running until well combined.
- Pour the pesto into a bowl and stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the salmon filets on a baking sheet coated with foil or parchment paper. Drizzle each filet lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake the salmon at 450º for 10-12 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
- Serve the salmon over zucchini noodles, sautéed veggies, pasta, or rice and top each portion generously with the pea pesto.