Herb Crusted Salmon with Pistou

Pistou is France’s answer to Italy’s pesto. It is a sauce/condiment made of crushed basil, garlic, and olive oil – quite possibly 3 of my top 10 ingredients. I have also heard of versions that include crushed tomatoes. In this recipe, the tomatoes are added as a topping instead. Also, traditionally pistou is made with a mortar and pestle, because I don’t have that I simply used a food processor. This is a fairly easy, healthy and flavorful fish recipe that has beautiful color and several very distinct and exciting key flavors.  Served with a cold glass of white wine and paired with a fresh salad – perfect.

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • Dried herb mix (i.e. thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, etc)
  • 1 large bunch basil, about 1 cup
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • S/P
  • 4 chopped plum tomatoes
  1. Season the salmon wiht salt and pepper and let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. While the fish sits, you can make the pistou – First you will blanch the basil which allows it to retain its brilliant green color.
  3. Bring a small pot of water to boil with a dash of salt, plunge in the basil leave and stir, no more than 2 seconds. Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water.
  4. Place the basil, garlic cloves, and 1/2 cup water in the processor -blend until the mixture is minced. Then you place the basil mixture into a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup olive oil. Season with s/p. Set aside.
  5. Take the fish out and pat dry and season liberally with your herb mixture, press the herbs into the fish to adhere.
  6. Saute your fish – if you have skin-on fillets, saute the skin side down first and for a bit longer than the other side. Make sure your pan is hot and the olive oil is very hot, place down and gently rock so it doesn’t stick. Continue to saute until cooked to your desired temperature, turning once.
  7. Place the pistou in a small saucepan and heat with the chopped tomatoes, on medium heat, just to warm. Spoon over the salmon.

Serves: 4

Time: ~45 minutes

Recipe source: Adapted from a recipe found in Simply Salmon by James Peterson.

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One thought on “Herb Crusted Salmon with Pistou

  1. Ed Schenk February 22, 2010 / 11:24 PM

    Great dish. Salmon is my favorite and basil goes well with it.

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