By 300 Sandwiches
I wanted to make pesto with the basil and mint growing like the Amazon on our balcony garden. We have four foot tall basil stalks back there and two three foot rectangular planters full of mint. Salmon with pesto is a good, healthy combination. It also felt like light comfort food, something E and I both needed after a rough weekend.
I used to get frustrated at E when he cooked because he would just whip meals together and never write down or remember how much of anything he used; therefore I could never recreate any of his tasty dishes.
Last night, I whipped the mint pesto together so fast, I didn’t have time to measure out exactly how much mint or basil went into the food processor. I cut up a mango, sliced a few tomatoes and added already chopped up basil and mint for a light salsa that matched the flavors in the pesto. I assembled the sandwiches quickly. Then I proudly presented E with dinner.
He kissed me hard. “Thank you, baby. This looks delicious.” He took a bite. “What did you put in the pesto?” he asked.
For the life of me I couldn’t remember. Maybe it was one cup mint, one cup basil, and two tablespoons, no wait one tablespoons of…
“I have no idea,” I said.
E’s eyes opened up and he laughed. “Oh, really? Now you’re starting to sound like me!”
Which means I’m getting kind of good at this cooking thing.
1 pound salmon
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to season
1 cup arugula
2 tablespoons olive oil
squeeze of one lemon wedge
1 mango, peeled and chopped
8 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1 tablespoon chopped mint
squeeze of one lime wedge
salt to taste
Mint Basil Pesto:
1 cup mint, chopped
1/2 cup basil, chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/3 shredded or grated parmesan cheese
squeeze of 1 lemon wedge
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
First, make the mint pesto: Throw chopped mint, basil, pine nuts, cheese and garlic in food processor. Then sprinkle cheese on top. Then squeeze lemon wedge in, and add salt and pepper. Pour half of the olive oil in, and pulse in food processor for about a minute. Open processor, and scrape pesto from down the sides and on top. Add the rest of the olive oil, and blend again for another 30 seconds or so. Taste, and set aside.
Make salsa: add mango, tomatoes, basil, mint and salt into bowl (you can substitute cilantro for the basil, but I wanted to match the flavors in the pesto.) Mix well, squeeze lime juice on top, and set aside.
Cook salmon: cut into sandwich size pieces (about the size of a deck of cards). Season with salt and pepper. Heat a medium nonstick skillet. Place the salmon inside the pan and cook skin side down for about 3 minutes. Flip over to skin side, and add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan. Let butter melt, and with a spoon, baste each fillet with the butter for about a minute. Remove from heat when salmon is still slightly bright pink on the inside, and let rest.
Cut baguette into 4 inch sandwich size pieces, drizzle with a touch of olive oil and toast. When done, dress greens in a tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place a handful of greens on bread. Layer on mango salsa, then place salmon on top. Add a dollop of pesto on top. Serve, open faced, with a fork (you’ll need it). Makes 2-3 sandwiches.
(Full disclosure:) As opposed to a traditional sandwich, we ate these with a fork and knife. They were messy, and the bread was probably too tough for the delicate fish. Foccacia or ciabatta is probably a better call for this one. But the flavors were good, and E didn’t leave a crumb. So it counts!by