Perk up some salmon fillets with a delicious crust of home-made red pepper pesto. Serve with a robust winter salad of mixed leaves, French beans, roasted sweet potato and red onion scattered with butter beans and tossed in a light lemon, honey and mustard dressing.
The pesto is whizzed up in seconds in the blender using a jar of ready roasted red peppers, almonds, lemon zest, flat leaf parsley and olive oil. Then it’s just a matter of stirring through some grated Gran Padano and breadcrumbs and slathering it onto the salmon and baking. Easy!
It’s a smart enough dish to serve when you’re entertaining, and delicious served warm or cold so you can make it in advance. If you’re not in the mood for stodgy winter food, this meal is the perfect antidote as it won’t sit heavily in your stomach, yet it still manages to fill you up.
Tempting though it is to eat non stop pies, pasta and stews with dumplings at this time of year, it’s great to switch it up with some healthier dishes with plenty of bold colours and flavours to brighten up a cold grey day.
It’s the kind of food that makes you feel good, which was the challenge set for me by the folks at Rennie®, the long established company who help us when we’ve got indigestion and heartburn. I’m pretty confident you’ll not be needing to reach for the Rennies after eating this – let’s hope the judges of the #healthytreats challenge agree!
Red Pesto Crusted Salmon With Warm Salad
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
For the salad
2 sweet potatoes
2 small red onions
200g french beans
1 bag mixed salad leaves
1 x 400g tin butter beans, rinsed
For the dressing
1 lemon, juice only
1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard
1 heaped tsp clear honey
For the salmon
4 salmon fillets
1 lemon – juice and zest
285g roasted red peppers
1 handful flat leaf parsley
30ml olive oil
60g grated grana padano
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into 2cm chunks and place in a bowl. Peel the onion and cut into quarters and put into the bowl with the sweet potato and toss in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil with salt and pepper. Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 mins.
2. Lay the salmon fillets skin side down onto an oiled baking sheet and squeeze a little lemon juice over the top of each portion of fish.
3. Make the pesto by putting the roasted peppers, parsley, almonds and lemon zest into a blender and blitzing. Scoop it out into a bowl and mix in the grated parmesan and breadcrumbs until well combined.
4. Spread an even layer over each salmon fillet and then bake in the oven with the roasted veggies for their last 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, lightly steam the green beans and pop your salad leaves into a serving dish.
6. Make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, honey and mustard in a jam jar and shaking well. Season and check the balance of flavours and adjust accordingly.
7. Add the roasted vegetables, cooked green beans and butter beans to the salad, toss in the dressing and serve with the crusted salmon fillets.
Cook’s tip: For a bit of extra crunch scatter some roasted almonds over the top of your salad.
Vegetarian? Substitute the salmon for slices of aubergine, and spread with the pesto crust and oven bake
Disclosure: This post has been supported by Rennie®, but all thoughts are my own