reprinted from 6/14/13 issue of Burlington Free Press
Pesto salmon and quinoa – an anytime, anywhere dish
Jun. 13, 2013
Written by Shawn Calley, Free Press Columnist
After all the recent grill-worthy recipes here in Local Flavor, I thought it might be nice to take a break and offer up a recipe that’s fairly simple for anytime/anywhere preparation.
The secret to this comes in making your own pesto from scratch, and instead of the traditional basil and pine nut recipe, I prefer a mixture of chives, almonds and shallots. And it really goes well with the salmon.
One note — don’t feel like you have to cook the salmon all the way through. Just as with steak, I prefer it done medium, so it’s more tender with better flavor.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cucumber, small-diced
1 bunch of watercress, chopped
½ red onion, diced
Fresh mint leaves, chopped
In a small saucepan, combine quinoa, broth, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Simmer until water is absorbed, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool, and then add lime juice, more olive oil, cucumber, watercress, red onion and chopped mint. Combine, and set aside in fridge for one hour.
4 six-ounce pieces of salmon
2 cups chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1⁄3 cup toasted almonds
¼ cup olive oil
1⁄3 cup Parmesan cheese
Zest of one orange
¼ cup of panko bread crumbs
¼ cup diced Roma tomatoes for garnish
Blend chives, shallots, almonds in a food processor for 10-15 seconds, and then slowly drizzle the oil in. After adding the Parmesan, transfer mixture to bowl, and add the orange zest. Coat the top of the salmon with the mixture, and bake in 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon. Place quinoa on a plate and rest the salmon on top.
Shawn Calley is the executive chef at Amuse at the Essex Resort and Spa. His column, Local Flavor, appears weekly.