Grilled Salmon with Herb Pesto

Grilled Salmon with Herb Pesto

By Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes


Makes 4 servings


    • Pesto:
    • 1 medium garlic clove
    • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
    • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
    • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
    • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
    • ¼ cup minced chives
    • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Salmon:
  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, pin boned and trimmed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Salmon can be cooked many different ways, but grilling is one of the best and simplest methods. Take care not to overcook the salmon; it is best bright pink and slightly translucent in the center.

To prepare the pesto: To a food processor fitted with a metal blade, add the garlic, parmesan cheese and the pine nuts and process until they look like fine breadcrumbs. Add the herbs, olive oil and lemon juice and blend again to make a smooth mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To grill salmon: Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Using a silicone pastry brush, lightly coat the grill with oil. Brush salmon fillets with oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place salmon fillets, skin side up, on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Using a fish spatula, carefully flip the fillets and grill until still slightly pink in the center and flaking around the edges, 3 to 4 more minutes for fillets less than 1 inch thick. (For thicker fillets, finish cooking in a 425°F oven for 3 to 5 minutes.)

To serve: Garnish each piece of salmon with a generous dollop of pesto and serve immediately

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