Monday, August 15, 2011

Salmon with Dill-Pistachio Pistou

I've heard of pistou before, but I admit it, I never really knew exactly what it was. My best guess was that maybe it referred to any kind of herbaceous, chunky topping that's way too thick to call sauce. Which isn't all that far off. But it turns out that it's more well defined than that. It's a paste made specifically of garlic, basil and olive oil (like a French version of pesto, but thicker). So obviously this is not a traditional pistou, but its fantastic flavor goes perfectly with salmon. I especially loved the chucks of pistachio, the texture was excellent. Don't skimp on the pistou...I made the full amount, even though I cooked only half the salmon and let's just say there's an empty space in our fridge where a tupperware container should be.

Makes 4 servings

Dill-Pistachio Pistou:
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions (about 2)
1/2 cup shelled natural pistachios, toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup pistachio oil or extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons pistachio oil or extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow (or orange) bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed, strings removed
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup water
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

1.      Mix pistou ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made 2 hours ahead; let stand at room temperature.
2.      Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and sauté until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add snap peas, garlic, and 1/4 cup water; sprinkle with salt. Sauté until vegetables are just tender and water evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 rounded tablespoon pistou. Transfer vegetables to platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Reserve skillet (do not clean).
3.      Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, in skillet; cook until skin is crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn salmon and cook until almost opaque in center, about 3 minutes longer. Arrange salmon fillets over vegetables on platter. Spoon some pistou down center of each fillet and serve, passing remaining pistou alongside.

barely adapted from Bon Appétit, August 2009 by Jeanne Thiel Kelley
big bunch of fresh dill from the farmer's market
chopping scallions (they're not finely chopped yet)
chopped pistachios (I pulsed them in the food processor,
that's why they're not very evenly chopped)
all the pistou ingredients mixed
orange pepper
orange and yellow pepper strips
sugar snap peas, trimmed
peppers in the pan

I didn't make pistachio oil (because I hadn't planned
ahead, so it didn't have time to sit overnight). I can
only imagine the awesome flavor boost if you do make it.
sugar snap peas, garlic and water added
adding some pistou to the vegetables
vegetables mixed with pistou
salmon fillets in the pan


Judie Cleland said...

I want you to move to Virginia so you can cook for me; this looks delicious. I seem to say that about a lot of your dishes♥

Susan said...

Private chefs don't come cheap ;)

Judie Cleland said...

I'm sure we could work out something♥

Anonymous said...


this is the EXACT recipe that i found on epicurious. instead of paying for a private chef, just go there. i use them everyday for cooking meals. i'm guessing this is where Susan got the recipe :-)

Post a Comment