Saturday, November 21, 2009

Slow-cooked Salmon with Sundried Tomato Pesto

This looked so pretty and tasted so good! I was carrying out a trial run of the main course for our usual Christmas dinner with close friends and was extremely pleased by how easy but impressive this dish was. Truly for lazy cooks indeed. The secret is to cook the salmon on very low heat so that its texture will be melting and looks uncooked but it is indeed cooked through!

I was inspired by the "recipe" on Steamy Kitchen's webbie, which I modified by cooking my salmon at 100 deg C for 30 min (will try it at 80 deg C for 40 min for the actual dinner) and complementing it with a homemade sundried tomato pesto that I whipped up using our recent acquisition of sundried tomatoes from France. The pesto was superb, with all the concentrated tastes of tomato, blended with the piquant fragrance of fresh basil leaves and toasted almonds. Just so addictive and simply delicious that I kept on finding excuses to eat what we didn't use for the salmon, on toast.

Sundried Tomato Pesto (makes about a cup)
1/2 cup packed sweet basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted whole almonds (I used ground almonds)
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp lemon zest (I added some lime juice instead to up the tangy factor)
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 generous packed cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I left the cheese out)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
(1 cup = 240 ml)

Drain the sun dried tomatoes. Toast almonds lightly in a dry shallow pan, about 5 min (they will turn light brown and emit a nutty fragrance). In a food processor, combine the basil, toasted almonds, garlic, lemon zest, and salt and process till coarsely chopped. Add the sun dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese and process further. Stream in the olive oil slowly and process until the pesto comes together. Scrape into an airtight container and leave in the refrigerator. The cook gets the privilege of licking off the rest of the sundried tomato pesto!

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