Butter and Pesto Roasted Salmon

As I sit in my living room to write this, my father-in-law and my uncle are in the backroom working on putting a header up in our addition. A task that was most definitely a pure and honest worry of my father-in-laws with the impending #Snowpocalypse that is slated to start today. We have roughly 15 inches of snow expected over the next 24-48 hours. My husbands parents are truly gems in all aspects of having in-laws. I’ve thankfully been given the pleasure of having some of the best family members from his side and that is worth more than winning any lottery in the world.

I deal with anxieties or depression from time to time. When I was young, I used to think that something was innately wrong with me for having episodes like this. More so, because I was trained to think that with family and media outlets. Fast forward to when social media started rearing its ugly face, when you compare your life to others happy cookie cutter lives… then a crappy president who re-unleashes ancient white supremacy views that no longer suit our people, then a pandemic that unseemingly wont go away…. Throughout it all, I’ve stayed diligent with my soul work.

Soul work is heavy sometimes. It takes a lot of discipline and a LOT of dedicated work. You often have to strip yourself of who you thought you once were, and in doing so, sometimes you have to strip people from your life that cant give you the grace you deserve. I want to be clear in my statement, we only have one life folks. You are not meant to be unhappy and you are the captain of your own story. If you remain the “reader” in your life, you’ll never get the chance to write it. So do things that make you happy and uncomfortable, because you never know when your time will come.

If you need a boost of happy, your foods will gratefully provide if you give them the chance. And adding foods rich in Omega-3’s to your diet is a great start. Salmon is on the menu this time around as it’s plentiful in it’s omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and also potassium. The omega-3 and -6 fatty acids combined with potassium greatly contribute to heart health, as they reduce artery inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, maintain blood pressure levels and they combat symptoms of depression and improve brain function.

I adapted this recipe from the New York Times. I didn’t have the fresh herbs, so I had to make do with what I had. Normally I would make a beautiful dark leafy salad for this recipe, but today I was short on time and decided to buy a “bagged” salad. One of favorites is Dole’s Premium Sweet Kale Salad, which you can find at most grocers.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter – unsalted
  • 4 Tablespoons pesto – I buy Classico Signature Recipes Traditional Basil Pesto (no nuts = happy allergic husband)
  • 1 large salmon filet – quartered – we always buy fresh ocean caught from Costco – no farm raised here.
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Place butter and pesto in a skillet and cook for 5 minutes OR until the butter melts and the pesto mixture is sizzling. I used my 10 inch cast iron and the filets came dangerously close to not fitting. You’ll have to flip these at some point, so if you don’t trust yourself with tight spaces, than I’d go up to a 12 inch pan. Oh, and PLEASE make sure the pan you use is oven safe. Also, PLEASE PLEASE make sure to remember the pan is hot when you re-enter it into the oven. An unlikely tragedy I encountered in my cooking journey that evening. In the case you do burn the holy hell out of your hand, please purchase this natural antiseptic healing cream by Nature’s Remedies. My burn was 99% gone the next morning. I bought this for my husband’s poison ivy one year because he gets a ridiculously awful rash EVERY year, and this stuff is truly magic.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven, give the buttery pesto a stir and add the salmon filets skin side up.
  3. Roast for 4-6 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and remove the skin. If the skin doesn’t come off, place in oven for another minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and flip the filet over, sprinkle with salt and pepper again.
  5. Roast for another 3-5 minutes. I like my salmon a little more on the red side, so I pulled mine out at 4 minutes. but of course, keep in mind, the cooking time will vary with the thickness of your salmon.
  6. When plating, spoon some of the buttery pesto on top of the salmon.

Notes:

This recipe serves 4-6 people. We only have the two of us at home so we like to use the leftovers for salmon patties. If your interested in that recipe, you cant find it here. Oh, and of course, if you crave more carbs in your life, you can always make rice, quinoa or any other kind of grain you like.

Salmon Patties

I’m going to put this link on the top, because I don’t think I could explain the health benefits any better. I love Holistic Highway’s website and I hope you can find some good ideas for yourself :-).

Ingredients for Salmon Patties:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk – finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley – finely chopped – (or dried or frozen parsley)
  • 3 cups left over salmon filet
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon curry spice
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • Pepper to taste

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Cilantro Lime Jalapeño Dip
  • 2 tablespoon garlic sauce – I used Steve’s Mediterranean Garlic Sauce from Kroger, but you could also use left over sauce from your last Mediterranean take out order, or also any other branded garlic sauce.
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream – (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • Mix all of the above until well incorporated and set in fridge until ready to plate.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring, until softened; remove from the heat. *You aren’t looking for caramelization here, just softened veggies. Pull from heat when the onions turn close to translucent.
  3. Place salmon in a medium bowl. Flake apart with hands making sure to remove any bones or skin fragments.
  4. Add egg , mustard and parsley and mix well – again with your hands.
  5. Add onion mixture, breadcrumbs, pepper and curry and mix well.
  6. Shape the mixture into 8 patties, about 2½ inches wide.
  7. Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  8. Add 4 patties at a time and cook until the undersides are golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
  9. Remove from pan and turn them over onto the prepared baking sheet. *The cooked side will be facing up.
  10. Repeat with the remaining patties.
  11. Bake the salmon patties for 15 minutes.

NOTES:

Dollop the sauce over the salmon patties. There will be absolutely no judgment on what serving size you choose to go with for your sauce topping. Add steamed broccoli or mixed greens as your side.