Salmon with Spinach Walnut Pesto Sauce

Andrea
18 Jan, 2021
Salsify Pasta with Creamy Leek Sauce

Spinach Walnut Pesto Sauce

There are many types of pesto recipes, some traditional and others modern. The pesto noun has become a general term. Pesto basically contains crushed garlic, salt, cheese, herbs and olive oil. I used spinach, walnut, olive oil, crushed garlic and grated Grana Padano to make my version.

It is very easy to make. Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix for a few minutes. According to tradition, the ingredients were crushed or ground in a marble mortar. The word “pesto” means to crush or to pound. Blender is used instead of mortar nowadays.

I added almond milk to my spinach walnut pesto because I wanted to make a bit more liquid sauce. I seasoned with salt only at the end of the preparation because Grana Padano is salty itself. This sauce is matching very well with salmon. Spinach is made often as a garnish for fish. It is steamed most of the time. I wanted to make a different taste and texture.

Walnut

I used walnut instead of pine nut in this recipe. Its earthy and a bit sweet taste complements the light and green taste of spinach. But walnut is working very well with basil-based pesto, too. Be careful! Walnuts go rancid when exposed to warm temperatures for long time.

Tip!

You can maintain the fresh taste of walnuts by keeping them cold. Store walnuts in airtight container in refrigerator and store them away from foods with strong odors like fish and onion. Walnuts can absorb the flavors of other food.

Buy Wild Salmon

I buy wild salmon at fishmonger. Wild salmon has a higher content of vitamins and minerals compared to farmed fish. Wild salmon contains more calcium, iron, zinc, and potassium than farmed salmon.
The difference between them is due to the diet of the salmon. Wild salmon eats other organisms in its natural environment (e.g. other wild fish, mussels, krill), but farmed fish are fed a processed diet with a higher fat content to produce larger and larger fish. This is just one reason why I buy wild salmon. I wrote more about the difference between wild salmon and farm salmon in my recipe of Salmon with Dill Sauce and Parsley Root Puree. Read it because I listed and talked about 3 very serious reasons why I recommend buying wild salmon.


Salmon with Spinach Walnut Pesto Sauce

Prep Time16 mins
Cook Time14 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 2

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

For the salmon

  • 2 slices salmon 200 gram each
  • 2 tsp butter
  • Salt and pepper

For the pesto

  • 200 gram spinach washed
  • 100 gram walnut
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 25 gram Grana Padano grated
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 250 ml almond cream
  • 4 tbsp almond flakes roasted
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Take salmon out from the fridge min. 30 minutes before baking. The baking time depends on the temperature of the fish.
  • Heat the oven to 180 °C.
  • Make the spinach walnut pesto. Put spinach, walnut, olive oil, grated Grana Padano, garlic into food processor (or blender). Mix for 4 minutes until it’s creamy, the texture is homogeneous. Do not add salt, not yet! Grana Padano is salty.
  • Pour the pesto into a saucepan. Add almond cream and cook on medium low heat for 4 minutes until bubbling. Stir it constantly.
  • Taste your sauce and add salt and pepper if it is necessary. Set aside.
  • Season salmon slices with a bit of salt and pepper. Place them on a baking sheet and put 1 tsp butter on the top of them. Bake for 8 minutes.
  • While salmon is in the oven, roast the almond flakes (if you bought unroasted one) in a hot frying pan for 2 minutes, until golden. Stir constantly, it could burn easily.
  • Warm pesto up if it is necessary then pour a portion into the middle of serving plate. Place baked salmon to the top and sprinkle with roasted almond flakes.
  • Decorate with few drops of almond cream (optional). Enjoy!