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Recipe: Lemon Pesto Salmon


When most Americans think of summer foods, typical barbecue fare comes to mind. But these backyard favorites, like brats, burgers and hot dogs, can be full of unnecessary salt, fat and cholesterol. Furthermore, charred meats contain carcinogens, which bring a greater cancer risk. While we at Hope4Cancer recommend skipping the burgers and brats, there are still plenty of bright and flavorful options for summer cuisine. Now is the perfect time of year to enjoy this lemon pesto salmon.

The bold flavors of the pesto pair nicely with the rich flavor of the fish. This dish is unique, yet still a crowd-pleaser, which makes it a fantastic choice for summer entertaining. Consider serving this lemon pesto salmon with a side of raw cauliflower rice, plus a platter of your favorite vegetables.

Bypass the grill for this dish — salmon cooked in the oven is a healthier option, and it’s just as easy to prepare. Preheat the oven, drizzle your baking tray with avocado or coconut oil, then place the salmon on the baking sheet. Simple as that! The salmon will be done in about 20 minutes, although smaller fillets may be ready even sooner.

Summer dining can be healthy, easy and delicious. There is more to summer than grilled sausages and burgers, and this salmon dish is only the beginning!

Lemon Pesto Salmon

Yield: 6 servings


  • 6 medium wild salmon fillets, skin on, scaled and deboned
  • Drizzle of coconut or avocado oil for the fish
  • 1 1/4 cups roughly chopped parsley
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 c raw nuts (pine, walnut, cashew, almond or a combination)


  1. Combine all lemon pesto ingredients (parsley through raw pine nuts) in a blender or food processor, scraping down and combining until well mixed and of a nice texture, not pureed. Pesto should not be runny, but thick and textured.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While oven is heating, prepare the salmon by rinsing and patting dry.
  3. Drizzle a baking tray with coconut or avocado oil and place the salmon on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the salmon with oil.
  4. Bake the salmon for about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. If you’re preparing a smaller fillet, check in at about 15 minutes to prevent overcooked fish.
  5. Once salmon is fully cooked, remove from the oven. Rest for a few minutes, then transfer to plates. Spread pesto generously on the top surface of the fish and serve immediately.

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