Garlic Scapes and Kale Pesto with Grilled Salmon


1 made it | 1 review | 0 photos
Source: Originally inspired by epicurious

15 minutes
20 Minutes
Garlic Scapes and Kale Pesto with Grilled Salmon

This dish is all about the garlic scapes and kale pesto. It’s delicious and versatile! For this recipe, we suggested putting it on salmon, but it’s great on other types of fish, chicken, steak, pork, potatoes and, of course, just tossed with pasta. 

Pay attention to the grilling salmon skin side down technique. Perfectly grilled salmon is great. Overcooked grilled salmon not so great.


  • 2 Wild for Salmon fillets

  • 2 cups garlic scapes

  • 2 cups packed kale leaves

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for salmon and squash before grilling

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 lemon for garnish (optional)


Make the pesto:

Put the garlic scapes, kale, olive oil, cheese, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and process until finely chopped. If you do not have a way to blend, you can chop by hand; it just takes a bit longer. This can be made ahead and kept in the fridge. 

Grill the salmon:

Put a teaspoon of olive oil on the salmon, on both sides, then add salt and pepper. 

The trick to good salmon is not overcooking it. Grilling it skin side down helps with this. Place your salmon on a medium heat grill skin side down. Put the lid on the grill and leave for 3-5 minutes, depending on how well done you like your salmon. Resist the urge to flip. At the last minute of cooking, flip the salmon just to get a bit of char on the top. The salmon will let you know when it’s ready to flip when the skin no longer sticks to the grates. This method leaves you with the skin a bit charred, but it makes for very moist meat. If you are anti crispy charred skin, you can discard, or you can eat it like a tasty piece of salmon skin jerky ;) 

Remove the salmon from the grill and, while hot, smear pesto over the top. Squeeze a touch of lemon over it and serve.

Suggested sides: Grilled yellow squash or zucchini (with a simple drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper) can be easily made while grilling the salmon. Toss the grilled squash back in the oil, and salt and pepper mix after grilling; add a squeeze of lemon. If you are in need of a carb on the plate, use the leftover pesto to dress some pasta OR make potato wedges and toss with some of the pesto.


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November 15, 2019