Entrees · Seafood

Baked Al Pesto, Lemon & Sumac Wild Salmon Fillets

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Wild caught salmon is quite simply one of my favorite foods in the world. AND…this is my favorite salmon marinade, EVER. I am quite sad it didn’t occur to me before that salmon and pesto could be friends. And make a great pair, in fact.

I also reverted to some childhood spices and welcomed sumac back into my life after a long, unexplained hiatus. I found fresh, ground sumac at the Lebanese market in Toronto & was hit by a flood of memories. My grandmother used it all the time while cooking. Like, literally, ALL the time. Sumac on grilled spiced chicken was my favorite, but I also enjoyed it over labneh (thick, yogurt cream) with a drizzle of olive oil, & a sprinkle of zaatar & sumac. We used to enjoy it with homemade warm, thin pita bread. Growing up, I thought it was the greatest thing. (After chocolate, of course.) She also used it on fish and hence it occurred to me to try it on this dish. Magic I tell you; it’s got this subtle acidity that’s so peculiar and SO good. You have to try this dish!




The best part about it: 14 minutes to bake from start to finish. AND… only 5 mins to make the pesto! I have started making my own pesto with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, aged cheese, garlic, & avocado. Friends, the best pesto does have a little bit of aged cheese.  If you don’t consume dairy, you could easily omit this. But I’ve tried it with pecorino, grana padano & with parmigiano reggiano. My favorite? Hard to decide. Because truth be told; they all work! If I had to choose, it would probably be grana padano. Or pecorino. Or I don’t know.. All 3 cheeses are aged and not processed yellow cheddar or any sort of cheese that may cause discomfort. You also consume such small amounts of dairy in this recipe because the pesto, after all, is just a topping.



The only two other things you need are sumac and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. And if like my dad or my husband (you can’t do without salt), then add a sprinkle of sea salt. Or pink Himalayan salt, it’s much better for you than refined salt.

P.S. You’ll really enjoy my pesto recipe… all good reviews so far. The key to the creamiest pesto of your life: add a creamy hass avocado. You won’t even know it’s there.


Wild Baked Salmon with Pesto, Lemon & Sumac


  • Fresh wild salmon fillets, as many as you like. This recipe cook time gauges for 4 servings.
  • The juice of 1 small lemon
  • a pinch of sea salt & ground pepper
  • a pinch of sweet paprika
  • a generous sprinkle of ground sumac

For the Pesto:

  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1 avocado (peeled & pitted, only the flesh)
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a pinch of ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated cheese of your choice: grana padano, pecorino or parmigiano regiano. (optional if sensitive to dairy)
  • 2/3 cup of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)


  1. Turn the oven on to 400F & line a baking pan or baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine the basil, avocado, pine nuts & garlic in the food processor & pulse for about 40 seconds. Add the oil & the cheese & season with salt & pepper. Process until you get a smooth paste!
  3. Marinate the salmon liberally with pesto & the juice of 1 lemon. Sprinkle the sumac.
  4. Cover it in aluminum foil & bake for about 14-16 minutes.

Notes: This recipe yields about 1 cup of pesto. Because it has avocado, make sure you use it within the next 2 days & refrigerate it. Avocado oxidizes pretty quickly! Also, when using it after refrigerating, it may need a drizzle of olive oil to perk up. Enjoy!

Filete de Salmón Horneado con Limón y Sumac


  • filetes de salmón natural (esta receta ocupa 4 para el tiempo de cocción que especifico)
  • el jugo de 1 limón
  • sumac
  • sal y pimienta al gusto

Para el Pesto hecho en casa

  • 2 tazas de albahaca fresca (no seca)
  • 1 aguacate grande pelado y sin semilla
  • 1/3 taza de piñones
  • 2/3 tazas de aceite de olivo extra virgen
  • sal y pimienta al gusto
  • 3 dientes de ajo
  • 1/3 taza de queso de cualquiera de estos: parmesano, grana padano, o pecorino. (opcional)


  1. Encender el horno a 400F y alinear un pyrex para hornear con papel de pergamino
  2. Para el pesto: mezclar en tu procesador de comida el ajo, el aguacate, la albahaca y los

    piñones. Pulsar por 40 segundos. Agregar el aceite de olivo, el queso, la sal y pimienta. Procesar hasta obtener una pasta uniforme.

  3. Marinar el salmon con el pesto, el limon, y el sumac ( y sal y pimienta al gusto)
  4. Hornear cubierto con papel de aluminio por 14-16 minutos

Notas: Esta receta te da aproximadamente una taza de pesto. Ya que lleva aguacate (el secreto para esa consistencia cremosa, es preferible consumir en 2 días y siempre refrigerarlo en un contenedor cerrado. Al volver a usarlo al día siguiente, agrega un poquito de aceite de olivo. Que lo disfruten!