Bright green basil pesto is a natural fit with baked fish! This pesto salmon is an easy weeknight meal that also works to impress guests.
- 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets or a large 1 1/2 pound fillet, wild caught if possible
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for brining
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto (homemade preferable)
- 1 tablespoon toasted and chopped pine nuts
- A few grates of lemon zest, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Brine the salmon: While the oven preheats, in a shallow dish stir together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt until it dissolves. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes (this should be about the time it takes to preheat).
- Bake*: Rub the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. Pat each piece of salmon dry and place it on the pan. Sprinkle the salmon with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt for each of the 4 fillets and fresh ground pepper. Cover pan with foil and bake the salmon for 10 minutes. Then remove the foil bake again for 3 to 6 minutes, depending on thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the center). A 1-inch thick fillet should cook in about 15 minutes total.
- Serve: When the salmon is done, spoon the pesto over the salmon. Sprinkle it with chopped pine nuts and if desired, a bit of lemon zest. Serve immediately. (Leftovers can be stored refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.)
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Seafood
Keywords: Pesto salmon