We eat fish a few times per week because it’s fast, it’s healthy and it’s super easy. My favourite way to cook salmon is in the oven because you just set the timer and then you can make your salad or whatever side dish you’re having with it like roast potatoes or potato salad. In other words, you can just set it and forget [about] it while it bakes! 

This is a recipe I’ve been making for years because it’s so delicious! The pesto really makes it. It’s such a nice way to jazz up your salmon and make it memorable if you’re having friends over for dinner. Sure, you can buy pesto from the grocery store, but making it fresh is best! You’ll see once you make it :).

You might even have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now. Go take a peek! All you need is: kale, lemon juice, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, sea salt and pepper. 

I love the flavour of the pesto with a hint of lemon. I highly encourage you to double the recipe so you can enjoy it with other recipes.

Warning: You’ll want to eat it right out of the bowl with a spoon.

When it comes to buying fish , I’m pretty picky. I do not buy any fish from big box grocery stores because I find it challenging to get a straight answer on where the fish is from; if it was frozen then thawed, if it came from a sustainable farm, or if it’s farmed and not wild. I have a lot of questions (and yes, I’m totally one of those “annoying customers” but I’m proud of it!).

But because I don’t love being an annoying customer, I’ll buy fish from a local fish shop or farmer’s market where I can talk to someone who is super knowledgeable about fish. I stick to certain kinds of fish too.

When buying fish, I consider three things:

1. How sustainable is it?

2. Is it contaminated with PCBs and other heavy metals?

3. What part of the world did it come from?

Based on that information, I typically stick with wild sardines, local lake trout, Arctic Char, BC or Alaskan Salmon, Black Cod (aka sablefish or butterfish), Sea bream, Ocean Wise Shrimp and lobster. I also love oysters but only have those as a special treat. 

In terms of wild vs farmed, it’s not as clear cut as you might think, but you can read about that here. Essentially if everyone who ate fish only ate wild, we’d have no fish left in our ocean, but not all farmed fish are sustainable either. This is why you must ask questions.

The Ocean Wise certification ensures it is sustainable. Here is an A to Z list of Ocean Wise approved fish. This is a Canadian organization, so I’m not sure what certifications exist in other countries. 

Okay, now let’s get to this recipe! One of my pet peeves is salmon that is overcooked and dry – gross! Please do not overcook your salmon. It should be juicy and flavourful!

This recipe is paleo-friendly, gluten-free, dairy-free and packed with tons of flavour.

I hope it becomes your new favourite recipe for easy weeknight dinners or when you’re entertaining! 

Mains & Sides
Baked Salmon with Kale Lemon Pesto

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PESTO
SALMON
Instructions

Serves 4.

If you use curly kale, you’ll need to add more olive oil because is absorbs a lot of oil.

I highly recommend you enjoy this with my Baked Cauliflower & Broccoli with Tahini Lemon Sauce on page 112 from The Joyous Cookbook.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe!

Joy xo

This content was originally published here.