Seared Salmon with Pistachio Pesto

Seared Salmon with Pistachio Pesto

Dress up seared salmon fillets with a bright pistachio pesto to make them dinner party–worthy.


  • 1 (2-pound) center-cut, skin-on salmon fillet (about 1 3/4 inches thick)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted unsalted pistachios (such as Santa Barbara Pistachio Company), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 small jalapeño chile or red Fresno chile, seeded and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest (from 2 limes)
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely grated (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided


  1. Sprinkle salmon with pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside. Stir together mint, pistachios, cheese, chile, lime zest, ginger, and garlic in a small bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup oil; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set pesto aside.
  2. Heat a large cast-iron or carbon steel skillet over high. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Once oil shimmers and begins to smoke, add salmon, flesh side down; cook until edges of salmon are golden brown and begin to form a crust, about 4 minutes. Using a large spatula, flip salmon skin side down; reduce heat to medium, and cook salmon to desired degree of doneness, 10 to 12 minutes for medium. (A thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of fish will register 120°F to 125°F.) Transfer salmon to a platter, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve with pesto.

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