Baked Salmon and Golden Potatoes with Fresh Pesto
Flaky salmon and pillowy potatoes are buttered and baked to perfection, then topped with a bright, fresh pesto that will make mouths water and taste buds rejoice! This easy-to-assemble recipe is perfect for any weeknight meal.
1/2 cup olive oil2 cups packed basil leaves 2 tablespoons pine nuts1 clove garlic1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 cup grated parmesan1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1-1/2 lb salmon filet6 tablespoons butter4 cloves garlic, minced 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1 lb baby gold potatoes, rinsed and quartered 1 small red onion, sliced pole to pole1 lemon, sliced into rounds1 teaspoon Kosher salt1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted pine nutsfresh basil leaveslemon wedges
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Make the pesto by combining all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and blending until smooth. Set aside.
TIP: Double the pesto recipe and freeze half to use later with pasta, chicken, or anything else that needs pesto-ing.
TIP: Pesto may be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Simply place in an airtight jar and drizzle a thin layer of olive oil over the top to keep it fresh. Or, freeze pesto in ice cube trays for up to 6 months.
TIP: For a cost conscious version of this pesto, substitute walnuts or cashews for the pine nuts.
- Prepare the salmon by rinsing and patting it dry. Use a filet knife and cut the salmon into 4 equally sized pieces.
TIP: If using frozen salmon, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and be ready to bake the following day.
TIP: We like to cook wild caught salmon, such as coho, sockeye, or king, because their flavors are richer, and they are typically less fatty than farm-raised salmon.
- Melt the butter, then whisk in the garlic and cayenne. Spread the potatoes and onion slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and arrange the lemon rounds throughout. Drizzle the potatoes and onion with half of the melted garlic butter, reserving the other half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to to 375°F. Use a large spatula to push the potatoes and onion to the edges of the pan. Place the salmon filets in the center of the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the filets with the remaining garlic butter.
TIP: Keeping the skin on the salmon while baking helps to keep it moist.
TIP: Salmon is fully cooked when the internal temperature reads 145°F at the thickest part of the filet.
- Bake for another 15-18 minutes until the salmon is cooked through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spoon generous heaps of pesto over the salmon filets. Top the filets with toasted pine nuts and fresh basil leaves. Garnish with lemon wedges. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve alongside a simple salad, or with warm bread and butter.