Salmon with Pesto and Potatoes

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Pan seared salmon topped with pesto and served alongside mashed potatoes for a healthy green Irish meal with a bit of Italian flavor, too. Our recipe calls for kale pesto, but you can also use classic basil pesto too.



For the Pesto

  • 4 cups tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
  • generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil

For the salmon

  • 12 ozs wild salmon fillet
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar (other light vinegar is OK)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Plus mashed potatoes for serving.


  1. Start cooking your potatoes, based on the recipe you are following, then begin making the pesto.
  2. Add the kale and garlic to a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients.
  3. Add the pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cheese, and olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency. Set the pesto aside.
  4. Finish making your mashed potatoes. Keep covered on low heat with a bit of extra milk and butter on top while you cook the salmon.
  5. Heat the canola oil on medium high in a nonstick skillet. When the pan is hot, add the salmon skin side down. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes without moving the salmon. After this initial cooking time, carefully turn the salmon over with a spatula.
  6. Sear the salmon for 2 more minutes, flesh side down. Turn the salmon back over to the skin side. Depending on the salmon thickness and how you like it, the salmon may be ready now or need 2 more minutes cooking skin side down.
  7. When the salmon is done, remove it to a platter. Break the salmon into serving portions.
  8. Plate a serving of mashed potatoes, and serve a portion of salmon alongside the potatoes. Top the salmon and potatoes with a generous serving of the pesto. Enjoy with an Irish beer or a glass of wine. Sláinte!


  • We make kale pesto more than basil pesto, especially in the winter. But you could certainly use classic basil pesto here if you like.
  • You could serve with your favorite basic mashed potatoes, or you could put more green on your plate with this Swiss Chard and Potatoes recipe.
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