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Wild Salmon with Basil Pesto
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This recipe is adapted from one by Chef-Owner Greg Neville of Lugäno Restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah, whose name derives from Neville’s college stint in Lugäno, Switzerland, which continued in the US and led to degrees in art history, economics, history, an MBA, and apprenticeships at top American restaurants.

Here’s what Salt Lake Magazine said about Lugäno in April of 2007:

“How do you determine the best Italian restaurant in town? First, the food has to respect the seasons as Italians have been cooking for generations. Second, there’s reverence for the regional diversity of the cuisinethe hearty richness of Emiglia-Romagna and Piemonte, the earthy simplicity of Puglia and Ubria. The menu is inspired by Italy, driven by the seasons, and savored by Utah.”


Wild Salmon with Basil Pesto

Serves 6

Serve the Salmon on top of pasta with sautéed vegetables on the side (e.g., broccolini, mushrooms, onions), or with mesclun style salad.

If you are only serving two or three people, and therefore only need to marinate three Salmon portions, you could toss some pasta in half of the pesto sauce.


Pesto

1 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup pine nuts*
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan*
8 cloves garlic
Sea salt and organic black pepper to taste

*optional, but preferred

  • Add half cup olive oil in food processor and quickly pulse with basil and garlic. Turn processor to low setting and slowly add half of remaining olive oil (1/4 cup) and pine nuts. Blend together until mixture begins to become smooth. While still running, add parmesan and remaining olive oil until desired thicknessadd salt and pepper to taste.

Salmon

6 wild Alaskan Salmon portions

  • Brush with pesto mixture. Reserve in refrigerator for at least two hours. (You could do this in the morning for the evening meal.)
  • When ready to cook Salmon, place portions on clean medium heat grill or broiler pan. (If grilling place portions at an angle to grate.) If broiling, cook for 4 minutes. (If grilling, cook for 2 minutes and then turn portions 90 degrees to cook for an additional 2 minutes to create cross-hatch grill marks.)

  • Flip Salmon and cook for an additional 2‒3 minutes. (Do not overcook… 7‒8 minutes should be enough. King Salmon is fattier, and hence more forgiving than Sockeye or Silver.)

  • Remove from heat and brush Salmon with additional pesto on top side to add moisture, color, and flavor.


Seafood Basics

How to Broil Silver Salmon
How to Sauté Sockeye Salmon
How to Steam Halibut
How to Clean Spot Prawns



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