Monday, July 21, 2014

Salmon with Pistachio-Basil Butter

As I've mentioned before, Mr. O-P is the fish cooker in the house, at least he used to be until he decided that he was going to pass that torch to me. Always up for a challenge, I accepted, and have been happily accumulating recipes to try ever since. With the basil plants at an all-time high, some of them slapping themselves against the windows, begging for attention, I was pleased to find this recipe for grilled salmon with basil pistachio butter in the current issue of Midwest Living magazine.

Basically, it's an easy meal. I made the butter early in the day and refrigerated it to allow the flavors to blend. While the salmon was cooking, I reheated it on low and then spooned it on top of the steaming fish. I thought it was sensational!  In fact, I liked it so well that I kept thinking it would be wonderful instead of pesto on warm pasta, or absolutely sinful slathered onto a split loaf of crusty French bread. Nothing beats the taste or aroma of fresh basil, but add the peppery bite of freshly harvested garlic, the nutty goodness of toasted pistachios, and a bit of zip from the juice of a key lime and, well, sublime.

As I sat at the table, breathing in the wonderful fragrance of this fresh, summer meal, savoring every mouthful, I turned to Mr. O-P and asked him what he thought, ready to pat myself on the back for my clever selection and perfect execution of this tasty dinner. The rather grim look on his face pretty much said it all, but to emphasize he added, It didn't hit me.



Hit him.


At that moment, a scene from an old Jimmy Cagney movie (The Public Enemy, 1931) where he picks up a grapefruit and smashes it into his wife's face at the breakfast table came to mind. Oh, the temptation. But I just smiled and promised to leave all future fish cooking to him.

So be forewarned. If you happen to live with someone who thinks the sun rises and sets with creamy Dijon sauce atop a piece of grilled salmon, then this may not be the recipe for you. But if, like me, you savor freshly harvested herbs, juicy garlic, and toasted nuts, then you owe it to your sophisticated self to give this a try.

Grilled Salmon with Pistachio-Basil Butter
Midwest Living Magazine

1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves*
1/3 cup toasted pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons butter (no substitutes), melted
Dash salt
Dash pepper
6 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets, 1" thick
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Salt and pepper

In a food processor bowl or blender container, combine basil, pistachio nuts, lime juice, garlic, butter, and the dash salt and pepper. Cover and process or blend until basil and pistachio are finely chopped, stopping to stir as necessary. Transfer to a container; cover. For a picnic, transport along with salmon in an insulated cooler with ice packs. Cook salmon within 1 hour.

Brush both sides of the fish with the oil. Season fillets with additional salt and pepper. Grill, uncovered, directly over medium coals for 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness or until fish flakes easily with a fork, turning once. Serve with the Pistachio-Basil Butter. Makes 6 servings.

*If you don’t grow your own basil, then buy it, and buy organic.  I recommend Melissa’s.

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1 comment:

Lisa Boyle said...

This is something I know my hubby would love. Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I look forward to seeing what you'll share this week.