This recipe is a staple in our household and can be enjoyed hot or cold. You can easily double this recipe up and use it on a whole side of salmon. This is great for when you have friends over. It is almost too simple, but always tastes amazing. It contains protein, healthy fats, calcium, folic acid, B12, zinc, magnesium and much more.
Ingredients, serves 4
4 salmon fillets, preferably wild
6 tablespoons walnut and basil pesto
juice and zest of 1 lemon
100g cooked quinoa
Walnut and Basil Pesto – makes 1 large jar (*TIP use ready-made if short of time)
80g basil leaves, dry
80g Parmesan, roughly chopped or grated
50g walnut halves
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
150ml extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
½ teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan ‘pink’ salt, if required
- First cook the quinoa in a pan of hot water. I like to add a pinch of vegetable Bouillon powder (such as Marigold to add extra flavour).
- Simmer the quinoa for 15-18 minutes (red or black quinoa may take 3-4 mins longer). When cooked, put through a sieve and leave to cool slightly. *TIP you can use ready cooked quinoa in a pouch if short of time!
While this is cooking make the walnut and basil pesto…….
- Add the roughly grated Parmesan cheese to a food processor and process on high speed for 10-20 seconds until it resembles a fine powder.
- Add the basil leaves, oil, walnuts, salt and garlic to the food processor and blend on a high speed until the pesto is smooth and creamy.
- Transfer to a clean, dry glass jar and store in the fridge for one to two weeks. Top with a layer of oil to stop the pesto from discolouring (oxidising).
- Pop the salmon fillets onto a greased baking tray; I like to use ceramic or glass trays.
- Finely grate the zest from one washed (unwaxed) lemon, before juicing into a bowl.
- Add the cooked quinoa and the pesto to the bowl with the lemon and mix using a spoon. Pile the mixture onto each of the salmon fillets and shape the crust with your hands. You can sprinkle a little grated parmesan over the top at the end if you like.
- Cook the salmon fillets at 180°C for around 18-20 minutes so that the crust is golden and the salmon fillets are just cooked through.