Grilled Salmon over Pappardelle with Pesto & Fresh Peas

22 03 2010

One of the benefits of living up in the Northwest is easy access to fresh, wild fish. Particularly salmon. When I first moved to Seattle, I lived a block away from the Pike Place Market. I quickly identified my favorite fish stand (no, it’s not the flying fish stand) and stopped in there 2-3 times per week after work. I would pick up a hunk of salmon and whatever fresh vegetables struck my fancy that day. I think I ate fresh salmon that way for easily the first 7-8 months. I kind of burned myself out on it and stopped eating it for a long time.

I guess I’m getting back in the salmon habit these days. I’ve found a few stores/markets in our neighborhood that have really fresh seafood and even can drive a few minutes down to the docks in Ballard to grab dinner straight from the person who caught it.

I came up with a new way to serve salmon. What’s great is I really thought it was a recipe on Martha Stewart last week. When I went to search, it was nowhere to be found. So I searched through the DVR to look through her shows all week last week. Absolutely none of the recipes last week were this concoction. I guess I dreamed it after a mix of all the other things she made last week. Anyway, I invented a new recipe!

First off, the market had fresh english peas. I’m not a fan of canned or those dimpled frozen peas. They just seem *mushy* and gritty. I’ll eat them, but I love spring when the fresh peas, fava beans, garbanzo beans, etc start hitting the markets. So, first thing, I shelled the peas:

peas in their pods

The peas are easily shucked. If they are ripe, you just have to squeeze one end and the pod opens up at the seam. Pop the peas right out of their shell and into the strainer to rinse!

shucking peas

Ingredients
2 salmon filets (1/2 lb each)
1 cup of peas (fresh in this recipe, but frozen would work just as well)
1/3 cup fresh basil pesto (store bought is good too)
Pappardelle noodles (I considered angel hair, but had these in the fridge to use, so that’s what got used)
Olive oil
Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper

Instructions
1. Get two pots of water boiling: one salted for the pasta, one for the peas.
2. Get a grill pan warmed to medium heat for the fish.
3. Prepare the fish by flipping it skin side up. Score the skin with two marks, try not to cut the flesh. Sprinkle the skin with sea salt.
4. Sprinkle some olive oil on the grill pan and lay the fish skin side down. Let cook 2 minutes, then flip and cook another 2-4 minutes on the flesh side (depending on your need for doneness, I cooked an additional 3 minutes to make sure mine was cooked all the way through – raw fish is a no-no for me these days).
5. While the fish is cooking, get the pasta cooking as well. Simultaneously, drop the peas in the other boiling pot of water. Let them cook 2 1/2 minutes or until crisp, but done. Bathe them in an ice water bath to cool quickly.
6. Toss the hot pasta with a little pasta water and the pesto until coated. Add the peas and toss again until well incorporated.
7. Layer the fish on top of the pasta.

It turned out really well. I sprinkled a little lemon on top of the finished product and liked it better with the zestiness of the lemon!

Sorry I’m so bad at food pictures, but you get the idea…

the finished product

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2 responses

23 03 2010
sue

Yum!!! I really want to move next door to you!!!

23 03 2010
Martha

Scott’s a lucky man!

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