Seared Salmon with Pea Pesto Risotto

You can stop searching for a new exciting, delicious, healthy and easy dinner! It's the perfect "go-to" meal for the end of a long workday or to impress guests on the weekend. The vibrant green color of the creamy risotto is just as delicious in taste as it is on the eyes. It can be easily modified for dietary needs (vegan, dairy free) and is naturally gluten free. The recipe below is for 2 servings and takes about 45 minutes (less if 2+ people cooking).

Ingredients:

For Salmon (can pretty much sear anything for the top):

  • 2 filets of wild caught salmon
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Olive oil to drizzle pan
  • 1/2 lemon (to juice top after cooking)

For Pea Pesto:

  • 1 cup of thawed, frozen peas
  • 2 small or 1 large garlic clove (more if you're a garlic lover)
  • A bunch of basil (I'm a basil lover, so I added a generous amount)
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach
  • Olive oil to drizzle 
  • Salt and pepper

For Risotto:

  • About a 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 cups of stock (I used beef bone broth, can use veggie or chicken stock)

Directions:

Pea Pesto: (make day before if you can so the flavors marry, but it is still delicious freshly made)

  1. In a food processor, add all ingredients except for olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is combined in a fine and uniform texture. It can be helpful to scrape the sides a couple times if needed.
  2. Empty mixture into a bowl and stir in or top with a drizzle of olive oil, it will help to maintain vibrant green color.

Risotto:

  1. Heat a skillet to medium heat, and melt the butter with a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Add in the onion and garlic with a little salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent, 3-4 minutes and stir often so it does not burn.
  3. Add in the arborio rice and cook until it has a nutty aroma, about 2-3 minutes.  
  4. Add in stock to just cover the rice, and stir frequently.
  5. Repeat this step until the rice is cooked through and creamy, about 15 minutes (you may not use all of the stock).
  6. Off the heat, stir in the pea pesto. You can add freshly grated parmesan cheese at this point, but it is not necessary.

Salmon:

  1. While the risotto is simmering in stock, you can prepare the salmon. Sprinkle the top with salt, pepper and garlic powder. (you can bake the salmon if you do not wish to pan sear it, or substitute the salmon for virtually any protein)
  2. Heat a small skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Add the salmon to the pan, seasoned side down and cook for 6-8 minutes. If the pan seems dry, it is ok to add a little water so the salmon does not burn.
  4. When the bottom side is golden brown appears cooked, it is time to flip it.
  5. Cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes. Cooking time may vary due to varying filet thickness. 

 

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