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Salmon with Pesto Butter
and quinoa / asparagus

Active: 35 minTotal: 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:
  • Butter - 4 Tbsp
  • Basil pesto (ingredients listed separately) - 2 Tbsp
  • Lemons - 1, wedges
  • Salmon fillets - 1 lb
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
Quinoa:
  • Quinoa, uncooked - 2/3 cup
  • Stock, any type - 1 1/3 cup
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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% Daily Value
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Prep

  1. Quinoa - (Double if making Tuesday’s meal.) Combine quinoa with stock in a saucepan. Add some salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (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.

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 quinoa was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half if doubled).
  4. Serve salmon and asparagus over quinoa. Spoon pesto butter over salmon while fish is still warm. Serve lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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Reviews

This meal has 40 reviews

First time cooking salmon and it turned out great! The butter pesto was amazing!

By: Christine
Posted: Jan 22, 2020
Diet: Original

Easy, simple salmon dish with so much flavor from that pesto butter! The only thing I would change is that I would bake the asparagus rather than pan fry.

By: Nick
Posted: Sep 17, 2019
Diet: Paleo

Pesto butter was awesome. We really enjoyed this meal

By: Mike
Posted: Jul 25, 2019
Diet: Original

The butter topping was really delicious! I couldn't figure out how many leaves 1 1/2 oz of basil was, so based on other recipes I found online I ended up using roughly 2 cups of basil. I had to add a lot of salt and pepper plus some extra lemon juice to the pesto, but it turned out great.

By: Summer
Posted: Jun 11, 2019
Diet: Original

Wow. Need I say more?

By: Catherine
Posted: Jun 10, 2019
Diet: Gluten-free

I cut the asparagus into smaller, bite-sized pieces, and ate the whole thing mixed together. It was really, really good.

By: Carri
Posted: Jun 08, 2019
Diet: Original