Wild Salmon Kebabs with Asian Pesto

MAKES 4 SERVINGS • PREP TIME: 10 minutes plus 30 minutes to marinate • COOK TIME: Less than 10 minutes

Sometimes it’s just fun to play with your food. I want people to eat omega-3 rich wild salmon— it’s great for heart and brain health—and this recipe is a blast. The salmon is cubed, threaded onto skewers, baked for a few minutes, and voilà: instant salmon kebabs. The Asian pesto, with ginger, cilantro, and mint, makes the skewers a kick to eat. I like this dish served with Watercress, Purple Cabbage, and Edamame Salad with Toasted Sesame Seeds. Talk about a color blast!

ASIAN PESTO
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 scallion, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño
3/4 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup

1 pound wild salmon fillet, skin and pinbones removed
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place bamboo skewers in a bowl of water for a few minutes, until soaked through.

To make the Asian pesto, put the ginger, garlic, scallion, jalapeño, cilantro, mint, parsley, oil, salt, lime juice, and maple syrup into a small food processor. Blend until smooth, about a minute.

Place the salmon on a cutting board and cut it lengthwise, then crosswise into 8 equal pieces. Put the fish on the prepared baking sheet. Insert a 6-inch bamboo skewer into each block of salmon so it looks like a rectangular lollipop. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over each piece. Using half the pesto, spread it on all sides of each piece of salmon. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the salmon from the refrigerator, uncover, and slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake just until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the salmon registers 120°F, 7 to 9 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. The flesh should be just opaque and beginning to flake.

Transfer the kebabs, skewers and all, to a serving plate. Add a dollop of the remaining pesto to each piece of salmon and serve Immediately.

COOK’S NOTES: To get pieces that are of even thickness, purchase the center cut of the salmon rather than the tail.

Optionally: Cut the baked salmon up into smaller pieces and stick in toothpicks. Serve with the additional pesto on the side for great little appetizers.

STORAGE: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.