Whole Roasted Salmon Fillet with Arugula Pesto

June might be my favorite month. I love the first of summer. Everyone is getting together to celebrate the end of school and graduations. This dish is a quick and easy way to throw an impressive celebratory meal together. It’s simple yet looks impressive on any table. You can serve it as the centerpiece of a dinner party, setting it on the table family-style with a green salad and roasted potatoes or pasta. You could also serve it as an appetizer with crackers, pickled veggies, and a goat cheese spread; or it can even stand in as a brunch feature with bagels, capers and cream cheese.
  • 1 4–5 lb. side of Atlantic salmon, trimmed of belly and tail meat and any pin bones removed
  • 1 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt

  • ¼ cup whole almonds, toasted
  • 1 serrano chili, seeds and white membrane removed
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 6 oz. fresh arugula
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

  1. Make pesto. Place almonds, serrano chili and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until chopped and combined.
  2. Add arugula, olive oil and lemon juice, and process until smooth.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Set the pesto aside.
  4. Check the salmon for pin bones. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the salmon. Place in the refrigerator and let it dry brine for 1–4 hours.
  5. Prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack for roasting. Chef Tip: Fold a piece of foil, just wider than the salmon fillet, and spray with cooking spray. Set this on the rack underneath the salmon. It makes for an easy cleanup.
  6. Preheat the broiler on high and place the salmon on the prepared pan. Place an oven rack about 7 inches from the broiler. Broil the salmon 8–12 minutes, rotate the pan, and turn the oven down to 250 degrees. Continue cooking the salmon for 10–15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees, rotating halfway through.

Serve and enjoy! 
Katie Fiore is a Biltmore Park resident, chef and owner of Fioreously Delicious, offering weekly meals for busy families and private catering.