Jan 23
2012

Seared Salmon with Pesto, Sauteed Peppers & Toasted Almonds Recipe

Seared-Salmon-with-Pesto-Sauteed-Peppers-&-Toasted-Almonds-Recipe-Cookin-Canuck

When I was a kid, my dad and I were fishing buddies. We were experts (well, by our own standards) at catching rainbow trout in the lakes of British Columbia. However, once it came to the big fish in the sea…well, let’s just say that our hooks were sadly rejected by the coveted salmon in the area. For years, my grandparents owned a cottage about 45 minutes north of Vancouver, in the seaside enclave of Lions Bay. With a path that lead straight down to the rocks painted in seaweed, it was a location that just begged for an Old Man and the Sea moment. And so my dad bought a little boat that I affectionately refer to as a putt-putt. Water-skiing was not in the cards for our little vessel, but it was perfect for our early-morning fishing escapades.

With salmon worthy of years of “big fish” tales on our minds, we dragged ourselves out of our beds before the sun rose, trundled down to the beach carrying our rods and other fishing paraphernalia and rowed our dinghy out to our putt-putt. We were diligent fisher-people, trolling our lines around the bay for hours at a time, waiting to hook the big one, that silvery fish of our dreams. Well, the fish came, but it in the form of bottom-feeders and catfish. Never once did we catch a salmon, despite (or maybe because of) my loud calls of “Here fishy, fishy, fishy.”

Luckily for us, there was never a shortage of fresh, wild salmon in the markets near the cottage or our home. My mum could prepare a whole sockeye at a moment’s notice, often barbecuing or baking it in foil, wrapped up with green onions, ginger and a touch of soy sauce. So, after a long day of fishing in the bay, we could still come home to a meal that starred the tender, flavorful fish and dream of the day when we could write our own Hemingway tale.

The recipe:
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add red, orange and yellow bell pepper slices and cooking, stirring occasionally, until peppers starting to soften.

Add water and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until peppers are tender-crisp. Remove peppers to a plate, tent with foil and keep warm.

SalmonPeppers1

Season salmon fillets with 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper.

SalmonPeppers2

Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive to the skillet, set over medium-high heat. Lay salmon fillets, skin side down, in the skillet and cook until the skin is crispy, about 3 minutes.

SalmonPeppers3

Turn over salmon fillets and cook for 2 minutes.
Turn salmon over so it is skin-side down again, spread 2 teaspoons pesto over the top of each fillet.

SalmonPeppers4

Cover and cook until pesto is warm and salmon is just cooked through, about 1 minute.

Divide peppers between 4 plates and top with salmon fillets. Serve.

SalmonPeppers5

Other salmon recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Baked Trout (or Salmon) with Honey-Thyme Glaze
Cookin’ Canuck’s Barbecued Salmon in Foil with Tarragon, Chives & Vermouth
Jeanette’s Healthy Living’s Easy Honey Miso Glazed Salmon & Soba Noodle Soup
Simple Bites’ Baked Salmon Stuffed with Leeks
Guilty Kitchen’s Baked Salmon with Blueberry Sauce

Seared Salmon with Pesto, Sauteed Peppers & Toasted Almonds
 
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 4 (6 oz. each) salmon fillets
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add red, orange and yellow bell pepper slices and cooking, stirring occasionally, until peppers starting to soften.
  2. Add water and ¼ tsp salt. Cook until peppers are tender-crisp.
  3. Remove peppers to a plate, tent with foil and keep warm.
  4. Season salmon with ¼ tsp kosher salt and pepper.
  5. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive to the skillet, set over medium-high heat. Lay salmon fillets, skin side down, in the skillet and cook until the skin is crispy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Turn over salmon fillets and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Turn salmon over so it is skin-side down again, spread 2 teaspoons pesto over the top of each fillet. Cover and cook until pesto is warm and salmon is just cooked through, about 1 minute.
  8. Divide peppers between 4 plates and top with salmon fillets. Serve.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bellini January 23, 2012 at 5:18 am

I just made salmon yesterday and try as I might did not get a great photo. You have conquered salmon photography if not fishing.

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2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Thanks so much, Val. The color of salmon throws me off, too. I got lucky this time!

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3 Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables January 23, 2012 at 6:32 am

I love the salmon/pesto combo, this looks great!

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4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Thanks, Emilie. The flavors of salmon and pesto are made for each other!

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5 Winnie January 23, 2012 at 7:43 am

Wow- that salmon is just gorgeous Dara!!!

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6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Thank you, Winnie. It’s true when they say we eat with our eyes first.

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7 Bev Weidner January 23, 2012 at 8:24 am

GOOOOOOOD grief, yeah.

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Thanks, Bev!

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9 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective January 23, 2012 at 8:30 am

Dara, this is perfectly lovely! I adore Salmon with crispy skin on the bottom.

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10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Me too, Sommer. It is a secret treat I like to indulge in!

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11 the wicked noodle January 23, 2012 at 8:34 am

Gorgeous, Dara! I love the way healthy food is so vibrant. Looks absolutely delicious!

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12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

You’re absolutely right, Kristy. “Eating the rainbow”, as we’re always told to do, can be rather satisfying.

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13 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. January 23, 2012 at 9:09 am

so incredibly pretty and yummy. I am all about salmon! So sorry we didn’t’ connect in salt lake :(

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14 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I’m sorry we didn’t connect either, Alison. I hope we have a chance to see each other later this year.

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15 Barbara | Creative Culinary January 23, 2012 at 9:42 am

I love salmon and I’m sure this one is absolutely wonderful but most delightful was your story which took me back, no WAY back to my fishing expeditions with my dad. Salmon? No, not hardly. We lived in a suburb of St. Louis so rivers were it and in my case, it was nothing much more than a small, I mean REALLY small little tributary that flowed under a bridge. Where we caught crawdads. Today I might have to prepare them as langostinos but then they were just these little things I could catch and take home for…are you ready? A pet. Or at least try.

My Dad finally got me to realize that taking them home meant their certain demise so we segued to catch and release. And for the rest of my life that’s all I’ve been able to do. I can eat fish caught by others but any caught by me have to go back. Not that I’ve ever caught one worth keeping!

Thanks for the memories Dara…yours and mine.

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16 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Oh, Barb – thanks so much for sharing this wonderful story. I can just imagine you carting home some crawdads in hopes it would become a beloved family pet. So sweet!

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17 Roz@weightingfor50 January 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm

We had salmon last night, and I didn’t think to put pesto on it!!! YUM! I’ll be trying this next time. As always Dara, THANK YOU for your wonderful ideas and recipes. BTW, I live in Vancouver, and I “oooh’d” a bit at your Grandparents living in Lion’s Bay. It is SOOO beautiful there. I’ll think of you next time I drive up the Sea to Sky. Have a great week.

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18 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Thanks so much, Roz. Pesto is a wonderful pairing with salmon; we often spread a little pesto on our salmon burgers, too. Lions Bay really is a beautiful spot and I wish I could spend a summer there again.

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19 Traci January 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Great job today on Studio 5! Those fries looked delicious and so does this recipe! You looked fantastic on TV! Loved that shirt!

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20 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Thanks so much, Traci! I had a ball doing that segment. Thank you for watching.

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21 Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) January 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

My dad would love to have called me or my two other sisters his fishing buddies but it didn’t quite work out for him, LOL! We went fishing with him only once–he had a boat and often went alone–isn’t that sad?! However, we happily ate what he caught–mostly trout.

Love your seared salmon and I think pesto is a perfect accompaniment. I consider this a perfect meal, Dara.

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22 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Thank you, Jean. I’m sure your dad was just as satisfied by the fact that you enjoyed his catch of the day.

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23 Katie {Epicurean Mom Blog} January 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Brilliant! Pesto and salmon, who would have thought?? This looks fantastic!

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24 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Thanks, Katie. Pesto and salmon are a wonderful combination. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked.

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25 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen January 23, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I just love salmon and I will have to try it with pesto. A perfect dinner!

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26 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Thank you, Milisa. It really did make for a wonderful meal.

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27 Deborah January 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm

My dad was a big fisherman when I was growing up, but my brother was the one who always got to go out with him. I’m not sure I would have had the patience to sit waiting for the fish, though, anyway! :) This salmon sounds wonderful, and makes me realize it has been quite awhile since I’ve even cooked fish at home.

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28 shutterbug January 24, 2012 at 12:11 am

You are lucky to live in beautiful B.C, with access to local, fresh flavours of the sea! :)

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29 Liz January 24, 2012 at 4:35 am

Gorgeous, healthy and delicious! A trifiecta in the foodie world! I will try to come to the Twitter chat…it will be my first :)

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30 Steve @ the black peppercorn January 24, 2012 at 5:54 am

oh dara – I love seared fish and salmon is one of my favs. This looks outstanding. Seriously delicious!

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31 Chris @ TheKeenanCookbook January 24, 2012 at 6:10 am

Love the fishing story with your Dad. Even if you never caught salmon, you caught something very precious – quality time with each other (I know that sounds terribly cliche, hah).

You know, we love salmon but we just never cook it. I think I’m just afraid I’ll mess up, or maybe its the whole fish buying process that I’m relatively inexperienced at. Well…This recipe gives me a strong reason to get off my bottom and try.

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32 Snippets of Thyme (Sarah) January 24, 2012 at 6:15 am

This article is a sign. I stumbled across your delicious/divine looking salmon recipe. I have been craving salmon for weeks now. It. is. time. Oh, that pesto on top looks so good.

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33 Lynn January 24, 2012 at 6:47 am

This looks so good! I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and love salmon! It is one of my favorite foods and reminds me of home. And I love the idea of pesto with it.

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34 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme January 24, 2012 at 7:46 am

What a beautiful recipe, Dara! The colors, the flavors, everything works perfectly. Outstanding!

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35 DessertForTwo January 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I have lots of frozen pesto cubes in the freezer–what a great use for ‘em! Thanks, as always, Dara :)

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36 Jeanette January 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I loved hearing about your dad and you fishing, and the way your mum would prepare it with green onions, ginger and soy sauce. I love salmon either served sashimi style or just cooked through as you have it here – such a bright, beautiful dish you’ve created! Thanks for including a link to one of my salmon recipes ;)

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37 Katrina January 24, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I love salmon. And that sounds so good with pesto! Perfect my-kind-of-meal!

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38 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella January 25, 2012 at 12:44 am

What a divine recipe-I can imagine the capsicum and pesto goes so well with the soft, succulent salmon! :)

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39 Laurie @SimplyScratch January 25, 2012 at 9:03 am

Ohhhh I love pesto AND salmon… only natural they’d go together! Wonderful post Dara!

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40 Helen@helen's Cooking January 25, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Falvordul and very very delicious , love the almond notes in this dish! Great job!

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41 Marla January 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Salmon & pesto are a match made in heaven.
Love the crispy skin too. Have you ever seen my Salmon with Basil Aioli ~ you would love it!
http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2011/07/07/wild-salmon-with-basil-aioli-and-quinoa-recipe/

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42 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) January 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I will have to check that out, Marla. It sounds fantastic!

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43 Carolyn January 27, 2012 at 5:46 am

Sorry you never managed to catch any yourself, but your salmon looks gorgeous!

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44 Liz January 29, 2012 at 11:06 am

Oh, my…why have I never thought to combine salmon and pesto? Super delish!!!

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45 Kimberly (unrivaledkitch) January 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

this is a perfect plate of food. I love salmon and peppers. Beautiful photos. Cheers

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46 Chris February 8, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Love, love, love pesto with Salmon! Beautiful recipe too!

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