¼ cup pecans
1 clove garlic
1 cup baby spinach, packed
1 cup mixed fresh herbs, packed (For example: ¾ cup basil, 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, 2 tablespoons tarragon)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Zest of ½ lemon
Salt to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Pat the salmon portions dry and place them on the parchment. Drizzle the salmon with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Roast the salmon 15 to 18 minutes, until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
4. While the salmon roasts, gently toast the pecans (or pine nuts or crushed walnuts) until they just begin to brown and become fragrant. You can do this in the oven, toaster oven or in a dry sauté pan over medium heat (my preferred method). Remove from heat to cool.
5. Place pecans (or crushed walnuts or pine nuts), garlic, spinach, herbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. With the processor running, drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil and run until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt.
6. Once the salmon is done, top each portion with a generous dollop of pesto. To store leftover pesto, press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent browning and refrigerate (use the following day).