Summer brings grill season and we want to celebrate the grill, too! Here’s an easy recipe for salmon and a delicious artichoke pesto that’s tastes delicious on the salmon AND as a dipper, too!
To use your grill the healthiest way, marinate with acidic juices. This has been shown to reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), two cancer-causing chemicals released when animal protein is cooked at a high temperature. Marinate beef, pork, fish or poultry in pomegranate or citrus juice, such as lemon, to both add flavor and cut down on chemical formation. Another great tip is to add powerful antioxidant herbs and seasonings to your marinade to reduce harmful chemicals. Fresh rosemary, mint, basil, thyme and garlic all contain cancer fighters that can decrease the free radicals that are created when you grill your food.
That’s why we used the amazing basil in this pesto for our grilling! Basil has a lot of Vitamin K in it. Both sweet and holy basil have a long history of medicinal uses. A few studies in people suggest benefits for blood sugar and stress control, though more research is necessary. We love that this pesto gives great nutritional benefits and makes the salmon taste great!
Grilled Salmon Topped with Artichoke Pesto
Drain the artichoke hearts, reserving ½ cup of the oil. Toast the walnuts by spreading them out on a sheet pan and placing them in a 350F oven for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Add the garlic and nuts to the food processor and pulse until combined. Add the cheese and artichoke to the food processor and pulse. Add the 1/3 cup lemon juice and pulse. With the motor running, drizzle in the reserved oil. Process until smooth. Taste and add salt, pepper and more lemon juice as desired. Top each *Grilled Salmon Filet with a tablespoon of the pesto and garnish with the basil and lemon wedges.
*Grilled Salmon Filets
Season both sides of the filets with a light coating of olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, salt and pepper.(I whisk the ingredients in a bowl and then use a silicone basting brush to do this) Make sure your grill, cast iron skillet (or grill pan) is very clean, is on high and preheated. Place the filets on the grill and cook the first side for 1 -2 minutes, to just get good grill marks. Turn the filets over and do the same. Slide the pan into your preheated oven for 5 minutes, or until the salmon is at your preferred doneness.