Salmon with Parsley Pesto and Peas is an easy spring recipe, featuring quickly pan seared salmon topped with a zesty pesto. You can have this healthy meal on the table in 20 minutes, easy peasy!
After getting hit with a mid-March blizzard earlier this week, I am ready for the fresh, light flavors that are the hallmark of spring cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I like my comfort food, but I’m ready for dishes like the Salmon with Parsley Pesto and Peas we are serving up for today’s Sunday Supper event hosted by Anne from Simple and Savory.
For today’s Sunday Supper there is also a focus on Easy Spring Recipes. I’m all about easy meals when spring rolls in, as it won’t be long until most of our suppers are quickly put together after an evening at the baseball field. Our Salmon with Parsley Pesto takes 20 minutes max to put together, but it is loaded with bright, clean flavors and plenty of nutritional value.
Topping seafood with pesto is a regular happening here in our house. I can make a pretty simple initial preparation of the seafood, which suits our 11 year old’s palate, then add more flavor on my serving of fish. I will often make enough pesto to also toss with some pasta. My wife isn’t a big seafood fan, and will often just go for a vegetarian meal of pasta when I do the seafood / pesto thing. In fact, you will notice there is side of kale pesto pasta alongside the salmon with parsley pesto and peas. Plenty of green on that plate!
If I’ve sold you on the merits of combining seafood and pesto, be sure to check out my Orzo with Grilled Swordfish and Kale Pesto recipe.
Making Salmon with Parsley Pesto
This Salmon with Parsley Pesto relies on my go to method for cooking salmon on the stove top. I adapted from a great cookbook, Stir: Mixing It Up In The Italian Tradition by Barbara Lynch. You get a nonstick skillet good and hot, then sear the salmon skin side down for 4 to 5 minutes, followed by another 2 minutes of searing skin side up.
As you can see in the photo below, this approach gets the skin blistered up and slight burnt on the edges. But meanwhile the salmon flesh is cooking up nicely! When the skin gets like this, it is easy to remove before serving.
I like to get a tail piece of salmon, without the pins, and that 7 minutes is usually enough. If you have a thicker piece of salmon, you might need to add a couple more minutes for a whopping total of 10 minutes of cooking.
The salmon here is moist, tender and flavorful. The zesty parsley pesto along with that bit of lemon adds a tasty contrast to the flavors of the fish. I get the pesto made before I start working on the salmon, so that the pesto is already to go once the fish is done.
Peas alongside the salmon add a nice reminder that spring is just about here! A substantial side bringing plenty of good nutrition.
Wine Pairing for Salmon with Parsley Pesto
A medium bodied white wine is my inclination for this salmon recipe, to pair with the pesto. A Pinot Gris or Italian white like a good Soave could work nicely. Other good options include Sauvignon Blanc, or perhaps open your first rosé of the spring! If you for a rosé, choose a more full bodied style to pair with the salmon.
- 12 ozs wild salmon
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp soy sauce sauce
- 3 cups peas, fresh or frozen
- butter to serve with the peas
- PARSLEY PESTO
- 1 cup parsley
- 3 clove garlic
- 2 tsp pumpkin seed, lightly toasted
- Tsp lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- MAKE THE PARSLEY PESTO: Combing the parsley, garlic and pumpkin seed in a food processor. Pulse to combine the ingredients. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and pulse again. Set the food processor aside.
- PREPARE THE SALMON: Combine the canola oil, soy sauce and orange juice in a large bowl.
- Rinse and pat dry the salmon. Add the salmon to the bowl with the marinade. Gently turn the salmon over so that both sides are coated. Let the salmon soak in the marinade briefly as the pan heats.
- Coat a nonstick skillet with oil spray, and heat on medium high. When the pan is hot, add the salmon skin side down.
- Cook the salmon for 4 to 5 minutes skin side down. Use a spatula to turn the salmon over, and cook for another 2 minutes skin side up.
- Turn the salmon back to skin side down after 2 minutes. At this point it may be done, or need another couple of minutes to finish cooking. Don't overcook the salmon, some of the flesh should still be dark orange for moist fish. When ready, remove the salmon to a platter.
- COOK THE PEAS as the salmon cooks. I typically use frozen peas this time of year. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the peas so they are ready to serve.
- Portion the salmon into 3 to 4 oz portions and plate. Top with a bit of the parsley pesto, and plate a side of peas. Pass extra pesto at the table and enjoy!
Easy Spring Recipes from Sunday Supper
Cakes, Pies, and Sweets
- Coconut Custard Pie by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Fresh Strawberry Meringue Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Mango Banana Bread by Asian in America
- Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Upside Down Brown Sugar Apricot Cake by The Bitter Side of Sweet
Cookies and Bars
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies by Pies and Plots
- Coconut Mango Chia Pudding Parfait by The Crumby Cupcake
- Maple Syrup Madeleines by The Finer Cookie
- Oatmeal Rhubarb Bars by Turnips 2 Tangerines
- Pistachio Lemon Bars by From the Bookshelf
- Creamy and Tangy Avocado Chicken Salad by Cooking On The Ranch
- Grilled Lamb Lollipops with a Lemon and Pea Dip by Sprinkles and Sprouts
- Lemon Quinoa Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes by Hardly a Goddess
- Pad Thai Spring Rolls by Brunch-n-Bites
- Parmesan Crusted Pork Tenderloin by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Spring Pizza with Goat Cheese & Asparagus by Wholistic Woman
- Spring Power Bowl by Simple and Savory
- Crab and Asparagus Pasta by My Savory Spoon.com
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus Rotini Pasta by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Pasta Salad with Artichoke Hearts & Feta by Soulfully Made
- Simple Pasta with Peas, Ham and Cream by Cooking With Carlee
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Baked Swordfish and Asparagus with Lentils and Chermoula by Caroline’s Cooking
- Flaked Salmon Arugula Spinach Watercress Salad by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Salmon with Brie by Books n’ Cooks
- Red Snapper in a Saffron-Tomato Broth with Artichoke Hearts & Potatoes by Gourmet Everyday
- Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette by Jersey Girl Cooks
- Salmon with Parsley Pesto and Peas by Cooking Chat (you are here)
Veggies and Sides
- Alfredo Scalloped Potatoes with Ham by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Asparagus Ham and Swiss Danish Braid by Crazed Mom
- Asparagus Soup by Bottom Left of the Mitten
- Cheesy Potato Asparagus Tart by Sunday Supper Movement
- Herbed Lemon Potato Salad by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Microwave Carrots and Peas by Cricket’s Confections
- Roasted Spring Vegetables by Food Lust People Love
- Shaved Asparagus Salad by A Day in the Life on the Farm
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