This seared salmon recipe may sound fancy, but it's super simple to make. It's a great option for either entertaining or serving on a busy weeknight.
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.
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 ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until peppers are tender-crisp. Remove peppers to a plate, tent with foil and keep warm.
Season salmon fillets with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons 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 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 4 5 ounces each salmon fillets
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup basil pesto
- ¼ cup sliced almonds lightly toasted
- 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 ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook until peppers are tender-crisp.
- Remove peppers to a plate, tent with foil and keep warm.
- Season salmon with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and pepper.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
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Love, love, love pesto with Salmon! Beautiful recipe too!
this is a perfect plate of food. I love salmon and peppers. Beautiful photos. Cheers
Oh, my...why have I never thought to combine salmon and pesto? Super delish!!!
Sorry you never managed to catch any yourself, but your salmon looks gorgeous!
Falvordul and very very delicious , love the almond notes in this dish! Great job!
Ohhhh I love pesto AND salmon... only natural they'd go together! Wonderful post Dara!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
What a divine recipe-I can imagine the capsicum and pesto goes so well with the soft, succulent salmon! 🙂
I love salmon. And that sounds so good with pesto! Perfect my-kind-of-meal!
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 😉
I have lots of frozen pesto cubes in the freezer--what a great use for 'em! Thanks, as always, Dara 🙂