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Salmon with Pesto Butter
and couscous / asparagus

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min

Fresh flavors make this quick weeknight meal a great one for spring.
Smarts: This meal includes a recipe for a batch of pesto, but you'll only need a small amount to serve in a compound butter over tonight's salmon. Save the rest of the pesto for later in the week.
Smarts: If you want to reduce the fat / calories in the meal, feel free to skip the butter and just spoon pesto directly over the fish.

Tags

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Basil Pesto (for two nights):
  • Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp, sub walnuts
  • Garlic - 1 clove, peeled
  • Cheese, parmesan (opt) - 1 oz
  • Basil, fresh - 1 1/2 oz
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 4 Tbsp
Salmon with Pesto Butter:
  • Stock, any type - 3/4 cup, sub water
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Couscous, uncooked - 1/2 cup
  • Butter - 4 Tbsp
  • Basil pesto (ingredients listed separately) - 2 Tbsp
  • Lemons - 1, wedges
  • Salmon fillets - 1 lb
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
Pan-Seared Asparagus:
  • Asparagus - 10 oz, trimmed
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Water - 1 Tbsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Prep

  1. Make couscous - Combine stock and salt in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous and cover with lid. Let stand for ~5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make pesto - (This makes enough for 2 nights.) Toast nuts in a dry skillet or frying pan until fragrant and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Peel garlic cloves. Place nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese (if using), basil leaves, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are well chopped. With food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until smooth. (Add some additional olive oil if needed to help everything blend.) Season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Make pesto butter - Defrost butter in the microwave just until soft. Combine butter with pesto (portion for salmon). Reserve remaining pesto for Wednesday. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Asparagus - Trim asparagus. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  5. Lemons - Slice into wedges. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  6. Salmon - Rinse and pat dry. Season with some salt and pepper.

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Make

  1. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (portion for asparagus) and then asparagus. Sear asparagus, turning with tongs to get it started cooking on all sides. Add water and cover the pan with a lid to steam the asparagus until tender, ~3 minutes for thin spears and up to 8 minutes for thick spears. Season with some salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Wipe out pan and return to heat. Add cooking oil (portion for salmon). Cook fish on both sides until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes total, depending on thickness.
  3. If couscous was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
  4. Serve salmon and asparagus over couscous. Spoon pesto butter over salmon while fish is still warm. Serve lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (58)
Gluten-free (6)
Paleo (8)
Vegetarian (6)

41 reviews

We loved this! Very simple, very quick, very tasty. The lemon really brought it together

By: Max
Posted: May 01, 2019
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I rarely write reviews on here but this recipe was amazing and incredibly simple. We used skin on salmon filets and got the browning and temperature just right. One of the top 5 meals that we have made from CookSmarts, which we love.

By: Sara
Posted: May 01, 2019
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Quick and easy. I left out the butter and didn't miss it. I'd probably do it with shrimp next time only because we prefer it to salmon.

By: Nicole
Posted: May 01, 2019
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I left out the butter and used Trader Joe’s pesto. Tried pearl couscous. All delicious!

By: Alyssa
Posted: May 01, 2019
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

That pesto butter was dangerously good. Used store bought to save on time/prep.

By: Margaret
Posted: May 01, 2019
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Great, easy meal. Upped the amount of quinoa and bought pesto to speed it up even more. Hubby and toddler ate it up too!

By: Jennifer
Posted: May 01, 2019
Diet: Gluten-free
0 Helpful