Pesto-crusted salmon and Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

I love pesto.  On anything: pasta, fish, chicken, sandwiches, pizza, spaghetti squash, you name it.  And now that I’ve figured out how to make my own, I like it even more since you can change it to make it how you want… you can add different spices or herbs or nuts, you can add cheese if you want or omit the cheese to use with meat.  It’s very versatile and very delicious.  Unfortunately there’s no precise science for making pesto since it’s very dependent upon your own tastes… but last week I made some delicious pesto using the following ingredients:

  • Toasted pine nuts (which I toasted in a pan on the stove for about 3-5 minutes over medium heat)
  • Basil (approximately 4 cups)
  • Lemon Juice (the juice from 1/2 of a lemon)
  • Garlic (2 minced cloves)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese (maybe 1/4 cup shredded)

I just put it all into the bowl of a food processor and ground it all up until it looked like pesto.  I then tasted and adjusted as necessary by adding salt and pepper.  It was delicious! pesto

With your pesto you can do just about anything… I chose to make a Pesto-Crusted Salmon by rubbing about 1 Tablespoon of the pesto on top of 4 6-oz. Atlantic salmon fillets and baking in the oven at 325 for 15 minutes.  pesto2

On the side we had some steamed green beans and I also made a Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad that had pesto along with some cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese.  You can serve the remaining pesto on the side so people can add more or less to their pasta as they so choose, and you can top with some grated parmesan cheese.  pesto3

It was, if I do say so myself, a delicious meal! pesto4

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