Weekly Winner – Pesto, Perfected

This was a busy week which, I’m sure in time, will spawn more non-food-related blog posts.  However to avoid further tardiness, I present this week’s Weekly Winner.  Grilled Salmon with Walnut-Arugula Pesto.

Generally, I am not a big fan of pesto.  I’m not sure why as I adore basil, garlic, pine nuts and sauces in general.  But it’s true.  I am not Pro Pesto.  This recipe however, was a bit different and therefore intrigued me.  The pesto was made with an arugula and basil combination and used walnuts in place of pine nuts.  I dug it.  I hope you will too.  The recipe came from Fine Cooking Magazine which I usually devour within the first 12 hours of landing on my doorstep.  It’s really just a recipe for the pesto, as the salmon is simply grilled.  But that’s how I like my salmon …. simple, with just a little bling.  In this case — a verdant green dollop of pesto.  Enjoy.

Grilled Salmon with Walnut-Arugula Pesto

Serves 4


1/4 cup walnut halves
2 cups loosely packed fresh arugula (2-1/2 oz.)
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil (about 1/2 oz.)
3 Tbs. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 medium clove garlic
5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more for the grill pan
Kosher salt
4 6- to 8-oz. skinless salmon fillets
Freshly ground black pepper


In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly on a plate, about 3 minutes, and then transfer to a food processor. Add the arugula, basil, Parmigiano, and garlic and process until the mixture is very finely chopped, about 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add 4 Tbs. of the oil until well combined. If you like, add 1 Tbs. water to thin the pesto. Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with salt.

Heat a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Rub the salmon fillets all over with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Sprinkle all over with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Put the fillets on the grill pan, skinned side up, and cook until well marked, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until opaque in the center, about 5 minutes more. Serve with the pesto.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Weekly Winner: A Kindler, Gentler Pesto | Donna's Quick Qi

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