Thursday, November 12, 2009

Salmon with Pesto Cannellini Beans and Spinach

A big thanks to our friend, Missy, for being guest blogger today and for sharing her tips for cooking fish. Can't wait to try this dish!

Phil and I enjoy a variety of fish – several times a week for that matter. Following is a recipe that my sister shared with me – seared salmon over a bed of pesto topped cannellini beans with a side of spinach. There are lots of ways to adjust the spinach to your taste buds; we happen to like it steamed (or zapped in the micro-wave) and sprinkled with rice vinegar.

Our gas grill of 10 years died the evening that I was preparing one of my favorite dinners. It had been ages since I’d seared salmon in a sauté pan as we are year-round grillers. I would strongly advise removing the skin for indoor preparation – leave it on if preparing on the grill.

I prepped the salmon by rubbing the pieces with about 1 tsp of Wegman’s basting oil (olive oil would be fine) and a small amount of kosher salt. I seared both sides of the fish on high heat and then turned it down and covered the pan until the thermometer read 160°. Another method to check doneness of course if to just cut into the filet!

While the salmon cooked, I prepared parsley pesto – the last of the outside harvest. I filled the mini-Cuisinart with as many sprigs as possible, added 1 T lemon, 2 T grated Parmesan Regianno, pine nuts and started with 1T of olive oil – adding more as I went along until reaching the desired consistency. You can add salt to taste.

Drain a 15 oz can of cannellini beans and rinse with cold water until bubbles disappear. (A vegetarian told me that you should do this with most canned legumes to significantly decrease “side effects”!) Add beans to a sauté pan which has been sprayed with PAM. Heat through just until warmed through,

add enough pesto to coat beans – timing, approximately 10 min.
Prepare spinach as you wish. We like the combination of flavors when sprinkled with rice vinegar.

Plating: begin with a spoonful of beans; add a serving of salmon, topped with a bit of pesto, and serve spinach – well drained.
The entire process takes a maximum of 30 min to prepare – assembly to table.

---Missy

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