Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vacation's over

I've gone from this:

to this:

Fortunately, I made this:

in about the time it took to do a (huge) load of whites.

A last little burst of summer vacation on a plate.

Pesto Crusted Salmon with Caprese Salsa
I picked up everything I needed for this dish at the store on the way home from work, and dinner was on the table in under 30 minutes.  You can serve the caprese on the side as a salad, but I loved the way the flavors blended with the pesto crust and the fish.

Large fresh salmon filet, with skin on (allow about 1/2 lb per person)
Prepared pesto sauce
a lemon
kosher salt and fresh black pepper
basket of ripe cherry tomatoes
small container of fresh mozzarella pearls
several leaves of fresh basil
good olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Prepare a broiling pan for your salmon by placing a cooling rack inside of a large baking sheet. You can also line your baking sheet with foil, if you don't have a rack that fits. Coat rack or foil lightly with non-stick spray and set aside.  Preheat oven to broil.

Transfer about 1/2 c. of the prepared pesto sauce to a small bowl, and squeeze in the juice from half the lemon*. Stir.

Place the salmon, skin side down, on the prepared baking sheet, and spread a nice layer of the pesto sauce all over it.  You may have some left over...not to worry.  Season fish generously with salt and pepper.

Broil for 12-14 minutes.  Check fish for doneness.  If it needs a few more minutes, return to the oven but place the sheet closer to the center of the oven so the crust doesn't burn under the broiler.

While fish is cooking, prepare the caprese salsa:

Rinse the tomatoes, then cut in half and transfer to a serving bowl.  Drain the mozzarella pearls and add to the tomatoes.  Thinly slice the basil leaves and add those, too.  Add a spoonful of the leftover pesto sauce, a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of the other half of the lemon, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the fish from the oven, squeeze the last of the lemon on top, and either transfer to a serving platter, or cut individual portions directly from the baking sheet.

Spoon a generous amount of the caprese salsa over the fish, and serve immediately.

Click to print this recipe!

* General tip: Adding a little fresh lemon juice to purchased pesto sauce instantly makes it taste fresher, regardless of what you're using it for.  Also, have the kids do their own damn laundry.

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