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Walnut Pesto Salmon w/ Portobello Mushrooms

We’ve taken a traditional spin on pesto with this recipe, making it with walnuts instead of pinenuts. When paired with portobello mushrooms, you’ll get a combination of savory and fresh flavors that is absolutely delicious.

Walnuts are a wonderful source of omega 3 fats, the healthy fats that help reduce inflammation in the body.  Walnuts contain the essential fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body can convert into DHA (a biologically active form of omega 3) once consumed.  DHA has been linked with protecting the brain and improving cognitive function.

Add in some wild caught salmon to this recipe and you’ll be getting even more omega 3 into your meal.

In addition to supporting brain health, walnuts have been studied for their link with helping prevent cancer.  A recent study from the Yale Cancer Center found that people with stage III colon cancer who regularly consumed at least 2, one-ounce servings of nuts each week showed a 57% improvement in survival and 42% improvement in surviving disease-free.  Those who did not eat peanuts (but ate walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and pecans) actually showed a 46% improvement in surviving disease-free. Wow!


Walnut Pesto Salmon w/ Portobello Mushrooms

For the Pesto:
2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 small garlic clove
1 tsp lemon juice

2 pieces of wild salmon (around 4 to 5 ounces each)
1/2 lemon, squeezed
sea salt and pepper
avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil

2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375.
2. Rub the mushrooms with some oil and sprinkle sea salt and pepper over top.
3. Place in a baking dish and roast for 25-30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto.  Make sure to rinse off the basil leaves and dry really well.
5. Lightly toast the walnuts.  We like to put them on a small baking sheet and bake at 375 for around 5 minutes, until lightly toasted.
6. Combine all of the pesto ingredients in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
7. Set the pesto aside.
8. Next you’ll prepare the salmon.  Season the salmon with sea salt and pepper.
9. Heat a skillet with some oil.  Once hot, add the salmon. Squeeze lemon juice over top. Cook on the first side for about 4-5 minutes.  Then flip and cook on the second side for another 4-5 minutes, until cooked in center. Serve onto 2 plates.
10. When the mushrooms are cooked, remove from the oven and slice thinly.
11. Toss the mushrooms with around 1/4 cup of the pesto.  Divide the mushrooms between the two plates, pairing with the salmon.
12. Place some extra pesto on top of each pieces of salmon.
12. Extra pesto can be saved in the fridge.  Store in a jar for up to a week.


written by Sarah Grossman


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