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As this this easy and elegant recipe for roasted wild salmon demonstrates, fennel with seafood is a match made in food-pairing heaven. Salmon fillets are topped with pesto-yogurt sauce and lemony breadcrumbs and roasted alongside sliced fennel that caramelizes in the oven. For a fresh finish, more of the bright and creamy pesto—made with fennel fronds and pistachios—is set on the table for guests to help themselves.

Martha Stewart Living, May 2020

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Credit: Paola + Murray

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
total:
1 hr 20 mins
Servings:
8
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Ingredients

Pesto
Ingredient Checklist
Salmon

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Pesto: Turn on a food processor and drop garlic through tube; process until finely chopped. Add pistachios and pulse until coarsely ground. Add fennel fronds, lemon zest, fennel seed, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse to combine. With machine running, gradually add both oils until combined. (Pesto can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.)

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  • Salmon: Preheat oven to 425°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Using a rasp, zest 1 lemon (you should have 2 teaspoons), then cut into 1/8-inch-thick wheels. Cut second lemon into wedges. Toss panko with 2 tablespoons oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in lemon zest.

  • Toss fennel wedges with remaining 3 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread evenly onto two rimmed baking sheets and roast, rotating sheets once, until golden brown in spots, 30 to 35 minutes. Flip fennel, add lemon wheels, drizzle with oil, and roast 5 minutes more.

  • Meanwhile, season fish with salt and pepper. Mix together yogurt and 3 tablespoons pesto; spread a thin layer of mixture over fish. Sprinkle panko mixture over top, patting gently to adhere.

  • Remove fennel from oven; push fennel and lemons aside to create room, then add fish. Roast until fish is almost completely opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Serve fish with fennel and roasted lemon wheels, more pesto, and lemon wedges.

Cook's Notes

Be sure to purchase fennel with the fronds still attached.

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Reviews

Rating: 5.0 stars
04/27/2020
I used steelhead trout instead if salmon but otherwise made the recipe as written. The whole meal was amazing. The pesto was delicious with the slight anise flavour and umami of the pistachios. The panko crumbs gave the trout a gorgeous crunch. The freshness of the lemon zest gave everything a lift but was not overwhelming. The combination of these flavours was terrific. I will make this again.
Rating: 5.0 stars
04/27/2020
I used steelhead trout instead if salmon but otherwise made the recipe as written. The whole meal was amazing. The pesto was delicious with the slight anise flavour and umami of the pistachios. The panko crumbs gave the trout a gorgeous crunch. The freshness of the lemon zest gave everything a lift but was not overwhelming. The combination of these flavours was terrific. I will make this again.