Sal­mon with green as­para­gus pesto

Spring is the most ex­cit­ing time for food­ies and ev­ery­one who loves fresh veg­eta­bles. It’s the time of year when na­ture comes alive, bring­ing the re­birth of green peas, cour­gettes, ar­ti­chokes, and as­para­gus.


T The Dutch may re­fer to the white as­par as­para­gus as white gold, but I am part par­tial to the green spears. They’re more nutty and earthy with a deeper flavour that pairs per­fectly with oily fish. Sal­mon, mack­erel or even the hum­ble her­ring, avail­able at ev­ery fish stall around the coun­try, can ben­e­fit from a dose of green­ness.

This green as­para­gus pesto, draped over a piece of firm-fleshed sal­mon, will bring Spring right to your din­ner ta­ble.

For the as­para­gus pesto

Fill a large pot with wa­ter and bring to the boil. Add some salt and then the as­para­gus. Boil for 8-9 min­utes un­til they are very ten­der but not fall­ing apart. Keep 2-3 Tbsp of the cook­ing liq­uid and drain the as­para­gus in a colan­der. Run them un­der cold run­ning wa­ter to stop them from cook­ing fur­ther and let them cool com­pletely. Cut them into 5 cm pieces and add them to a food pro­ces­sor. Add the pine nuts, gar­lic, Parme­san, lemon juice, olive oil, 1 Tbsp of the as­para­gus cook­ing liq­uid and a lit­tle black pep­per. Process well un­til you have a ho­mo­ge­neous mix­ture and give it a taste. Add salt if needed, and if you find the pesto too thick for your lik­ing, add a lit­tle more of the cook­ing liq­uid.

For the sal­mon

Bring the sal­mon to room tem­per­a­ture 10-15 min­utes be­fore cook­ing. Pat the sal­mon fil­lets dry with kitchen paper and sprin­kle with salt on both sides.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and when it starts to shim­mer, add the sal­mon. Pan-fry for 4-5 min­utes on one side un­til golden brown, and then turn the fil­lets over and pan-fry for a fur­ther 3-4 min­utes or un­til cooked to your lik­ing. Take the fil­lets out of the pan and onto a plate cov­ered with kitchen paper to ab­sorb the ex­tra oil. Place them on two in­di­vid­ual plates and serve im­me­di­ately with the pesto on the side or on top of the fish. Keep any left­over pesto in the fridge, cov­ered, for 1-2 days. «

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