Roasted Salmon Bowl with Creamy Herb Pesto
Roasted Salmon Bowl with Creamy Herb Pesto is definitely satisfying and crave-worthy. And talk about being brain and health-boosting! It features terrific, nutrient-dense ingredients – salmon, asparagus, peppers, greens, whole grain, avocado, and pesto. This recipe grew out of a salmon sheet pan dinner I make regularly. I simply rounded it out with a few more brain-boosting ingredients to make it a “bowl” rather than the usually plated entree. Using the “sheet pan dinner” cooking technique helps this meal come together pretty easily. Make extra, it makes a great lunch for the next day!
Makes: 2 bowls
Creamy Herb Pesto (recipe follows)
6 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into thirds
1/2 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced
2 (4 ounces each) salmon fillets (boneless; skinless preferred)
1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
4 dill sprigs
ground black pepper
2 ounces mixed super greens (baby kale, chard, spinach)
2/3 cup cooked brown or black rice
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 half slices of fresh lemon
1 – 2 green onions, sliced for garnish
a sprinkling of sunflower, sesame, or pumpkin seeds for garnish
1. Prepare the recipe for Creamy Herb Pesto and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and spray lightly with cooking spray.
3. Place the sliced asparagus and peppers into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the oil over top and gently toss to coat. Spread the asparagus and peppers out on the prepared baking sheet and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the pan into the oven and roast for 10 minutes. (NOTE: If the asparagus are thin, cook for 7 – 8 minutes, until just tender when pierced with a fork.)
4. Remove the pan from the oven and nestle to salmon fillets into the center portion of the pan, pushing the veggies aside slightly if necessary. Brush the top of each fillet with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lay 2 dill sprigs on top of each fillet.
5. Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting for another 9 – 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon. The vegetables should be tender-crisp when tested with a fork. The salmon should flake easily with a fork, and be slightly rare or just cooked in the center (depending on preference) but not dry – about 125°F – 135°F internal temperature.
6. Assemble the bowls. Divide and arrange the following ingredients in each bowl:
- whole grain
- bell pepper slices
- avocado slices
- salmon filet
7. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top of the fish and the vegetables. Add a dollop of the Creamy Herb Pesto. Garnish with a sprinkling of green onions and sunflower, sesame, or pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.
CREAMY HERB PESTO
This flavorful, nutrient-dense condiment may quickly become a favorite. Use it to simply but elegantly compliment fish, seafood, chicken, pork, or vegetables. Or, toss it with pasta or whole grains for a slight twist on the usual. The recipe can be altered to use up just about any fresh herbs you have around, and any extra keeps well for later use – refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze it for up to three months.
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped and packed
1/4 tablespoon fresh dill
1/4 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a fresh lemon)
1 tablespoon chopped green onion (about 1 stem)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon regular or vegan mayo or yogurt
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Place the sunflower seeds, basil leaves, dill, olive oil, lemon juice, green onion, and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until everything is smooth and creamy.
2. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and add the mayo or yogurt, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. If pesto is too thick, add a small amount of olive oil to thin to desired consistency.
Like this recipe? Share your comments below. Feel free to share the link to it with others who may enjoy it. Happy cooking from LCK!
Main photo: Jenelle Botts Photography (plated salmon with creamy pesto sauce, asparagus, peppers)
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