Introduction: Pesto Garlic Salmon

I've been asked by my Ma for this recipe, so I'm putting it here on Instructables for all to share. She is one of the best cooks I know, so I'm beyond flattered she would like a dish of mine enough to ask for the recipe.

I hope everyone who tries this has the success I've had with this great tasting, and healthy, family favorite.

Serves 3 - 4

Total Time: >30 min.
Prep Time: 5 - 15 min.
Cook Time: 12 - 15 min.

* 2 Pounds of Salmon
* Seasoned Garlic Powder
* 4 tbsp Pesto Butter (or regular butter)
* 3 Sprigs of Dill Weed
* Optional: corn starch, or slice of bread, & olive oil spray

Abbreviated instructions:
* Preheat oven to 400F
* Prep fish
* Bake fish on top rack for 10-min.
* Broil for 2 - 5 min.
* Serve

Step 1: The Fish

This recipe starts with Costco's prepackaged Salmon Milano w/ Basil Pesto Butter. Typically this is packaged in an oven-ready tray, containing 3-4 salmon steaks, garnished with pesto butter, dill, and herbs. All this recipe calls for beyond what Costco includes is the seasoned garlic powder, and a slice of bread, or corn starch.

Alternatively, you can use just plain salmon, dill, and butter mixed with a spoonful of basil pesto, or just plain butter.

Step 2: The Selection

2-pounds is enough for about 3 adults. I usually try to find a package with nice full rectangular pieces of salmon, lots of dill, and the furthest "best by" date.

Step 3: Preheat

When you are ready to get cook'n, preheat the oven to 400F degrees. An electric oven will finish preheating about the time you finish prepping the fish.

Step 4: Remove Cover From Tray

Marvel at the beautiful fish and the stunning amount of butter that's included.

Step 5: Set Aside Pesto Butter and Dill

I usually place these on the underside of the lid.

Step 6: Cut Salmon Steaks in Half Lengthwise

The large salmon steaks can end up a little raw in the center and overdone on the edges. Slicing them in half helps cook the fish evenly. Typically an adult will eat 2 of the smaller steaks, but it's nice for portion control to have the ability to take just 1 if preferred.

Note: If you are not going to use bread crumbs, but would like a nice crispy surface on the fish, this is the point where you should lightly coat the steaks in cornstarch.

Step 7: Layout Steaks in Pan

Place the steaks back in the oven tray, spaced evenly, and alternate direction of the thick and skinny ends of the steaks. This will help with cooking the steaks evenly.

Step 8: Garlic Garni

I'm using the reduced salt version here, but I prefer the "normal" full-salted version, which has a blue lid.

Either can be purchased online at:

Step 9: Coat With Garlic Garni

Don't go overboard, but give them a good even heavy dusting. Use less if your using the full-salt version.

Step 10: Finished With the Garlic Garni

Your fish should look something like this.

Step 11: Slice the Pesto Butter

Thinly slice the included pesto butter. One the balls is more than enough for all the salmon.

Note: Chilled butter is the easiest to slice, and apply.

* Save remaining pesto butter for another dish. Keep in mind that it has been in contact with raw fish.

Step 12: Distribute Pesto Butter

I usually like to place a thin piece in center and at both ends.

Step 13: Now the Dill

Step 14: Distribute Dill Evenly

I love dill, but I don't like eating the stem, so I snap off and distribute the end clusters.

Step 15: To Breadcrumb or Not to Bread Crumb?

To help give a crust the the salmon I'll dust it with some bread crumbs.

I don't stock breadcrumbs, but we can make our own if we have some bread. You can also use store bought bread crumbs or panko crumbs.

I'm a little on the fence with this as I've had mixed results. It is easy for the bread crumbs to burn.

* You can coat the fish in a light dusting of cornstarch, which will allow the fish's surface to crisp up nicely under the broiler.

Step 16: Lightly Dust

If you decide to try going with a bread crumb dusting, break a slice in half and very lightly rub the two pieces together over the fish. Patience and a light touch are needed for a fine dust, otherwise you'll end up with clumps of bread on your fish.

Step 17: Olive Oil Pump Aerosol

You can put any kind of oil in this guy, and then pressurize it by pumping the lid.

I picked up mine at Costco.

Step 18: Lightly Coat With Olive Oil Spray

This will help prevent the bread crumbs from burning, but won't totally prevent it.

Step 19: Place on Top Rack of Oven

Cook for 10 minutes at 400 F.

Step 20: After 10 Minutes, Then Broil

Broil for about 2 to 5 minutes.

Watch closely. Look for a nice browning without burning. I get good results around 4 minutes.

Step 21: Pull Them Out When They Look Perfect

Pop 'em out before they burn.

Step 22: Plate & Dive In

Serves up nice over a bed of rice, and paired with veggie of choice.