For the love of pesto, it is hard as heck to make it taste good without parmesan cheese. We’ve tried to make the basic green/basil pesto a few times and it always tastes bitter. So we decided to try a sun dried tomato version to see if the tomatoes would add a sweetness that was lacking in our previous efforts. I loved it so much I was like a kid with cookie dough, using my fingers to get out every last drop. The side dish you see in the pic is a recipe we will post soon, promise.
- 1/2 c pine nuts or almonds
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 c sun dried tomatoes (in oil if you can, rehydrate per instructions if dried)
- 1/4 c fresh parsley
- 1/2 c fresh basil
- 1 T tomato paste
- 3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb wild caught salmon fitlets
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
For the Pesto
Preheat your oven to 400ºF . On a baking sheet, toast your pine nuts and roast your garlic. To roast the garlic, wrap the cloves in a small piece of foil with some olive oil drizzled on top and just stick it on the baking sheet, next to the nuts. This should take about 6-8 minutes. They’ll be a nice golden brown when they’re ready. Check frequently….burned garlic and pine nuts taste horribly horrible. Add the pine nuts, roasted garlic, sun dried tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs to your food processor and blend. Stream in the olive oil until the pesto comes together.
For the Salmon
The salmon can have skin on or off, but make sure all the pin bones are removed by running your fingers across the center line of the salmon. They’re about the size of a sewing needle. Pat your salmon dry with a paper towel and place the fillets skin side down, on the same baking sheet you used for the nuts, but make sure you’ve oiled it with some olive oil, to prevent the skin from sticking. Drizzle the top of the fillets with olive oil and generously salt and pepper. Place in a 400°F oven for about 8 minutes or until the salmon gives slightly when you press down on it.