Salmon is one of my favorite types of fish, but lately I've been having less than the best luck with it. Maybe it's partly because I live in the desert so fresh fish is hard to come by, but frozen is usually a satisfying substitute. Maybe it's that I need lessons in thawing fish, so that's why I opened my much loved Better Homes and Garden Cookbook. This cookbook is so informative and has so many classic (they call them "favorite') American recipes. I think it's a great resource for ideas and I feel like armed with it and the Joy of Cooking I can come back from the store with whatever cut of meat was reduced and find a deliciously simple way to prepare it. And this recipe is that. There's three ingredients. Three. Four if you want to be decadent and add Parmesan. I'll assume if you're going for the prep with mayo then you'll probably want to just go ahead and go all out and add that Parmesan as well. I'm going to include variations in the ingredients that I have tired and tested so you'll have a few options, but I think this is a dish that fares well with some playfulness, just don't overcook that salmon. That's the worst.
4 5-6oz fresh or frozen skinless salmon fillets (I used fillets with one side of skin and had a hard time figuring out the cooking time, so watch out for that)
1/4 cup mayo, or sour cream, or yogurt*
3 tablespoons basil pesto (Trader Joe's pesto works great)
shaved parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse and pat dry.
2. Place fillets on greased broiler pan, tucking under thin edges. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 4-6 minutes per 1/2 in thickness or until fish flakes when tested with fork. If fillets are 1 in or more, turn halfway through broiling.
2b. I have also had this with the topping broiled the whole time with the fish and I'm not sure what the purpose for separating them is, unless you're going to need to flip them. It's your call.
3. Meanwhile, combine mayo and pesto. Spoon over fillets and broil about 1 min or until topping is bubbly. Garnish with Parmesan if you like.
So easy and so good.
*My sister has a variation of this recipe that calls for creme fraiche, though I have never tried it because sour cream is an easy substitute.