Roasted Salmon Fillets with a Crusted Pecorino and Pesto Topping

 

I actually wrote a really good long post about this dish last night – but for some reason just as I was about to publish it, I lost the whole thing!! I was furious – that has to be the most frustrating felling in the world, and the worst of it all is…this is not the first time it has happened to me on WordPress. From now on, I’m going to write everything on Word and then transfer it!

Anyway…back to the Salmon. In all honesty salmon is not my favourite fish – I think it is highly over rated! Maybe that is because I have just had far too much bad salmon in my life. For me it has become synonymous with banquet food – how many business lunches or weddings have you been to where you have been served a poached salmon, a few overcooked sprigs of asparagus a miserable looking potato with some non-descript viscous white sauce?! Far too many!

However, being part Swedish and spending a lot of time in Sweden you can’t avoid salmon – salmon is a staple in most Swedish households, there is the gravlax and smoked salmon, we even have salmon paste that is in a tube which you can squeeze onto your toast (may not sound appetising but I can assuar you it is!). This, coupled with the fact that ‘C’ and are making  determined effort to have one veggie day and one fish day in our diet – it couldn’t have been long until Salmon popped up on to the menu.

I got this recipe from Delia Smith – who has to be my all time favourite and trusted cooks. She is a British cook who I believe is more or less an essential presence in British homes as her recipes are both varied and simple, but most importantly they all seem to work! I would really encourage anyone to have a gander at her website at www.deliaonline.com, and if you have the chance invest in one of her cook books!

What caught my attention with this recipe was the unusual combination of ingredients – salmon, pesto and cheese. Not only do all three have such strong and distinct flavour, but you ask any Italian what they think of cheese and seafood they will tell you it is almost a cardinal sin! I learnt this the hard way when I was in Italy and asked from some parmesan to go along with my beautiful seafood pasta – the waiter looked appalled and refused point blank and avoided our table until it was time to pay the bill.

However it all seems to come together quite nicely and the best of it is – the whole dish takes 20 mins start to finish! Perfect for a dinner during the week. We ate the salmon along with some quinoa in our attempt to be healthy – it was the first time I had quinoa and I have to say I love it…this could be my new rice substitute…there are definitely many perks when dating a lovely peruivan :)

Ingredients – serves 2

  • 2 salmon fillets – 2cm thick, skinned (I left the skin on mine as I really like it when you roast it in the oven and it gets all crunchy – ‘C’ on the other hand thought that was disgusting!)
  • juice ½ lemon
  • 2 tblsp of fresh pesto sauce
  • 2 tblsp of fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 large tblsp of grated Pecorino cheese (I used a parmesan and it worked just as well)

Directions

Pre heat oven to 230°C

 Begin by trimming the fillets if needed, and now place the fish on the prepared baking tray and give each one a good squeeze of lemon juice and a seasoning of salt and pepper.

Next, give the pesto a good stir and measure 2 tablespoons into a small bowl, mix one-third of the breadcrumbs with it to form a paste and spread this over both fish fillets. Then, mix half the cheese with the remaining breadcrumbs and scatter this over the pesto, then finish off with the remaining cheese.

Now place the baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 10 minutes, by which time the top should be golden brown and crispy and the salmon just cooked and moist

 

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