Friday, March 13, 2009

Seared Salmon with Linguine and Ramp Pesto

Spring's bounty is almost here which means ramps! Well, not just ramps but they are one of my favorites. Soon, your farmer's market and grocery stores will have fresh asparagus, peas, artichokes and more. Spring is such a great time of year to put on that apron and cook 'till you drop.

Ramps are wild leeks and can replace onions and garlic in most culinary cases. This spin on pesto from the recent edition of Bon Appetit looks like a great weeknight dish to make at home.

Seared Salmon with Linguine and Ramp Pesto
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced trimmed ramp bulbs and slender stems plus 3 cups thinly sliced green tops (from about 8 ounces ramps)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese*
  • 1/3 cup Marcona almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 12 oz linguine
  • 6 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • *Available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2/3 cup ramp bulbs and stems to skillet and sauté just until soft but not browned, reducing heat if necessary to prevent browning, about 5 minutes. Transfer sautéed ramps to processor (do not clean skillet). Add green tops, cheese, almonds, and tarragon to processor; process until finely chopped. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup oil and puree until almost smooth. Transfer pesto to bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill.
  • Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Add salmon to skillet and cook just until opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side.
  • Drain pasta, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot; add all but 1/4 cup pesto and toss to coat, adding enough pasta cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta among plates. Top with salmon. Spread remaining 1/4 cup pesto over fish and serve.



Shea said...

Sounds fantastic. I hope Miner is treating you well and thanks again for the pour of merlot - it was great! My writeup will be appearing soon.

Oh, and speaking of seasonal, I recommend trying very lightly seared salmon with fresh artichokes and olives a la greque with a Gigonads or similar grenache based wine. mmmmm.

thefoodinista said...

I am so glad to hear Yabbies is still going strong! I used to live around the corner in Russian Hill and it was a favorite neighborhood spot (like almost 10 years ago!). Wish we had one down here in LA.