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Herb Crusted Salmon with Pistou

This simple yet sensational recipe comes to us from Ashley Baqeuro, author of The Quick and Dirty Cook blog. Ashley notes that “Pistou is France's answer to Italy's pesto. It is a sauce/condiment made of crushed basil, garlic, and olive oil—quite possibly 3 of my top 10 ingredients. I have also heard of versions that include crushed tomatoes....In this recipe, the tomatoes are added as a topping instead. Also, traditionally pistou is made with a mortar and pestle; because I don't have that I simply used a food processor. This is a fairly easy, healthy and flavorful fish recipe that has beautiful color and several very distinct and exciting key flavors." Simply pair this flavorful salmon recipe with a fresh salad and cold glass of white wine for a taste of France. Adapted by Ashley Baquero from a recipe in Simply Salmon by James Peterson.
Yield: Serves 4
Total Time: 1 hr
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 45 min
Additional:
Ingredients
Dried herb mix (i.e. thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, etc.)
1 large bunch basil (about 1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Sea salt and organic black pepper, to taste
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
Preparation
1.  Place salmon in a shallow dish, season with salt and pepper, and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2.  While the fish sits, begin the pistou. First blanch the basil by breifly dunking it in boiling water, followed by a dunk in icy water. Blanching allows the basil to retain its' brilliant green color.
3.  Bring a small pot of water to boil with a dash of salt. Plunge the basil in and stir for no more than 2 seconds. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
4.  Blend the basil, garlic cloves, and 1/2 cup water in the food processor until minced. Place the basil mixture in a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
5.  Remove the salmon from the refrigerator, pat dry and season liberally with the herb mixture. Press the herbs into the fish to adhere.
6.  Sauté salmon: Heat pan and olive oil until very hot, then place fish and gently rock to prevent sticking. If fillets have skin be sure to sauté the skin side down first and for a bit longer than the other side. Continue to sauté until cooked to your desired temperature, turning once.
7.  Heat the pistou and chopped tomatoes in a small saucepan on medium heat, until warm.
8.  Plate each salmon portion and spoon the pistou over. Serve with a fresh salad and chilled white wine.
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