California King Salmon with Lemon-Caper Pesto and Zucchini

by valentina on August 3, 2012

Post image for California King Salmon with Lemon-Caper Pesto and Zucchini

I’m generally pretty laid back.

I hang out in my sweats, I wear flip-flops or Uggs, and I love to have casual dinner parties on my sofa, where I serve a cozy one-pot meal!

While I didn’t put heels on or anything, (let’s not get too crazy), I did recently make a “fancy” dinner.  Oh, it’s fancy alright.

This dish has beautiful layers!  Layers of delicious flavors and colors!  It’s a work of art on a plate!

And plated it must be.

This isn’t a serve-it-yourself type of dish.  Oh no, it’s too pretty  and it’s at its best just moments after cooking!

And this salmon should be treated with great respect!  After all California Wild-Caught King Salmon are harvested using “trolling.”  Trolling is an environmentally friendly fishing method — the fish are caught one at a time with barbless hooks.  Using trolling, fish that might be too small or the wrong species can easily be returned to the water, unharmed.

Now let’s plan our fancy dinner party!  I might even set the table for this one!

P.S. Friday Flowers will definitely be back next week!  Do you miss it as I do?

California King Salmon with Lemon-Caper Pesto and Zucchini

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 4


2 (3/4-pound) California King Salmon steaks -- about 1 to 2-inches thick

3 tablespoons Lemon-Caper Pesto (here's the recipe!)

About 1/4-pound zucchini, sliced into very thin rounds

Olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on a baking sheet and place the 2 salmon steaks on it. Spread about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the Lemon-Caper Pesto, evenly on top of each steak.
  3. Layer the thin zucchini slices on top of the pesto, pressing them very gently so they "stick."
  4. Use pastry brush, or drizzle a bit more of the olive oil over the zucchini slices -- so they shine.
  5. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and place in the 400 degree F oven and bake just until the salmon is cooked, 7 to 9 minutes. It should still be slightly translucent in the center.
  6. Let it cool for a few minutes and then cut each of the steaks down the middle to create 4 portions.
  7. Serve immediately!


While fancy, this recipe is easy! Make the pesto the day before and this dish will only take a short time to prepare!

Of course you could also make this with fillets -- dare I say that it might be even fancier! (The cooking time might be a bit less for fillets.)

This is not a sponsored post.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Natalie @ The Devil Wears Parsley August 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Ohhh my goodness. You had me at salmon, then lemon-caper pesto, and LOVE that you describe the methods of catching the wild caught salmon!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!


valentina August 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Thank you so much, Natalie! :-D


Marina@Picnic at Marina August 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Mmmm, I can only imagine how good it tastes! King salmon is called king for a reason (not just because of the size). Love your stake, it’s our favorite way to eat fish next to whole baked. Thanks for describing fishing methods: for our family it is important to know not only what’s on out plate but how did it get there too.


valentina August 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm

Thanks so much, Marina! Love that you family cares about where what you eat comes from! :-)


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious August 4, 2012 at 5:27 am

Salmon is an awesome fish, easy to cook and tasty to boot, yours looks fantastic!
Thanks for sharing…


valentina August 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Thanks, Gerry! Thanks for visiting! :-)


Jessie August 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Work of art, indeed. Salmon looks absolutely perfect!


valentina August 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Thanks so much, Jessie! :-)


Sandra August 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Lovely dish and have a happy and fun birthday.


Chef Sybil August 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Excellent! I just purchased Salmon yesterday and I have mexican squash. I love this idea. Thanks Valentina. Chef Sybil


Theresa August 6, 2012 at 3:17 am

I made this tonight after finding your blog on Tastespotting. I can say without a doubt, that this was a HUGE success! We were practically licking our plates. I believe I’ll have a look around and see what other things you have. :)


valentina August 6, 2012 at 5:41 am

That’s fantastic, Theresa! I’m thrilled you all loved it! And thanks for checking out my recipes! :-)


Colette @ JFF August 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Really is beautiful. Looks tasty, too. Thanks for the recipe!


David Latt August 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Valentina, so nice to meet you. The salmon recipe looks delicious. I agree with you. Roasted salmon looks so glamorous but really doesn’t take much effort or time to make. It’s a good party dish. Maybe I’ll see you at the Sunday Farmers Market. See you soon.


valentina August 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for stopping by my site, David!


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