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Salmon with Dill-Pistachio Pistou

Salmon Dill-Pistachio Pistou

Okay, I’m new to this whole cooking thing, so I had never heard of pistou before. Like all things French, I figured it would be something incredibly complicated and fattening, albeit delicious. I was right on only the last part. A pistou (as described by Wikipedia) is typically a cold sauce used as a condiment in the Provençal region of France made from garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil, sometimes with a hard cheese, such as Parmesan or pecorino. The ingredients are crushed and mixed together with a mortar and pestle (pistou means “pounded” in French). The only difference between pistou and pesto is that pesto includes pine nuts.

The pistou in this recipe is unusual, in that it replaces basil and garlic with dill, green onions, and pistachios. Served with salmon, snow peas, and orange peppers, this is a bright, colorful dish that is perfect for Spring.

Salmon with Dill-Pistachio Pistou
Adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:
1/3 c. chopped fresh dill
1/3 c. finely chopped green onions (about 2)
1/2 c. shelled natural pistachios, toasted, finely chopped
1/4 c. plus 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 orange bell peppers bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 lb. snow peas, trimmed, strings removed
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. water
4 6-ounce salmon fillets

Preparations:
1) Mix dill, green onions, pistachios, and 1/4 c. oil in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pistou can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

2) Heat 1/2 T. oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers and sauté until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add snow peas, garlic, and 1/4 c. water; sprinkle with salt. Sauté until vegetables are just tender and water evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 rounded T. pistou. Transfer vegetables to platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Reserve skillet (do not clean).

3) Heat remaining 1 T. oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, in skillet; cook until skin is crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn salmon and cook until almost opaque in center, about 3 minutes longer. Arrange salmon fillets over vegetables on platter. Spoon some pistou down center of each fillet and serve, passing remaining pistou alongside.

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