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Pan-Seared Salmon with Pumpkin Seed-Cilantro Pesto

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Last week I received a desperate call from a girlfriend. “I need a fish recipe to impress a new man”. I’m pretty simple with my fish recipes and they usually go along the lines of… firm fish (like wild salmon or halibut) cooked in a cast iron skillet with coconut oil and sea salt then served with a citrus zest. Done in 5 minutes.

But this man was special, so she wanted something more. We came up with a libido enhancing recipe that was beautiful to look at and easy to cook – wild salmon with a pumpkin seed-cilantro pesto. Both salmon and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc which increases arousal. Cilantro was a reputed Middle Age aphrodisiac. Wild salmon also has an abundance of omega 3’s which sensitize the body to the feel good neurotransmitter, serotonin, making you feel happier and sexier.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Continued research shows olive oil can reduce heart disease and/or stroke risk with 'healthy' monounsaturated fats making it ideal for cooking. Numerous studies find that the fish oil in salmon may help protect brain health and reduce risk of heart disease. Plus, salmon's rich in B vitamins, potassium, selenium, which can help protect against bone health and reduce the risk of cancer.


By Nikki Nies, MS,RD, LD

Pan-Seared Salmon with Pumpkin Seed-Cilantro Pesto

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:10 minutes
  • Servings: 2

Ingredients

1/8 cup + 2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup cilantro leaves and stems
1/4 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
1/4 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1  tablespoon fresh lime juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 6-ounce wild caught salmon fillets
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small cast iron skillet. Add pumpkin seeds; sauté until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer seeds to paper towels.
  2. Pulse pumpkin seeds, cilantro, coriander seeds, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 1/8 cup of olive oil, then 1/8 cup water, blending until coarse purée forms. Season pesto to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.
  3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil to a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add salmon to skillet and cook until just opaque in center, 3–4 minutes per side.
  4. Place fillets on plates. Spoon pesto over. Garnish with pumpkin seeds. Serve with lime wedges.
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small cast iron skillet. Add pumpkin seeds; sauté until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer seeds to paper towels. Pulse pumpkin seeds, cilantro, coriander seeds, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 1/8 cup of olive oil, then 1/8 cup water, blending until coarse purée forms. Season pesto to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil to a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add salmon to skillet and cook until just opaque in center, 3–4 minutes per side. Place fillets on plates. Spoon pesto over. Garnish with pumpkin seeds. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: Calories: 608; Total Fat: 46 g; Saturated Fat: 10 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 11 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 14 g; Cholesterol: 34 mg; Sodium: 204 mg; Potassium: 849 mg; Carbohydrate: 19 g; Fiber: 8 g; Sugar: 2 g; Protein: 54 g

Nutrition Bonus:

Vitamin C: 22%; Vitamin A: 4%; Iron: 20%; Calcium: 1%

 

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