Salad with Salmon and Collard Green Pesto

Salad with Salmon and Collard Green Pesto

I’ve been eating my weight in greens, thanks to this new community garden plot of mine. Some slightly poor planning has left me with little other than kale, collards, swiss chard and tatsoi. I’m waiting with patience for cucumbers and tomatoes, and am in the meantime throwing down a greens party nearly every night in the FoodFitnessFreshAir kitchen.

I really haven’t any serious complaints about it though.

Salad with Salmon and Collard Green Pesto

I do have some little baby carrots and radishes growing, which make an appearance in this recipe. And some lettuce from a friendly neighbor. Both worked well to construct the bed of salad that’s placed beneath the real stars of this dish: salmon and collard green pesto.

Since crispy broiled salmon speaks for itself, let’s get straight to the pesto.

Currently, I have no basil in sight, aside from a few slow growing plants on my back porch. Likely you don’t either.

What there is an abundance of this time of year, however, is greens. And as mentioned above, thankfully I’ve got a ton with which to work. Regardless of whether you’re reaping the same harvest or not, I’d encourage you to give this a go. This time of year, I guarantee it’ll be cheaper, and just as tasty, as traditional basil pesto. And even a little healthier, too.

I tell you, collard greens make for one nutrient-packed pesto.

Salad with Salmon and Collard Green Pesto

If you do have basil laying around, feel free to throw it in with the greens. You could also swap the collards for other greens, such as swiss chard or baby kale. Stay away from greens that are on the more bitter side or are more matured, which will reap a heavier flavor. These could have their place too in pesto, but not aside the delicacy of roasted salmon.

If you have any other green-loaded recipes, please share! I’m looking to freeze a bunch of this pesto for the winter, but would love to hear your ideas, too. Let me know how you’re using kale/collards this year!

Salmon with Collard Green Pesto

Yield: Serves 4, with leftover pesto for bread-dipping!


  • -4 (5-6 oz. filets of salmon)
  • -2 lemons, divided and juiced
  • -Olive oil, to drizzle
  • -8-10 cups of spring mix
  • -Any other salad toppings of your liking: thinly sliced onions, radishes, carrots, etc.
  • -Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the Collard Green Pesto:
  • -4 cups collard greens
  • -3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • -1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • -1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • -1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • -1/2 tsp. salt
  • -1/4 tsp. pepper
  • -1/2 tsp. dried sage, optional


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and blanch collard greens for three minutes. Remove from heat, and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse garlic in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients, including the collard greens. Pulse until smooth. Set aside until salmon is ready.
  3. Place salmon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Lightly coat with olive oil, and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Place under broiler and cook 8-10 minutes, or until salmon is just cooked through and tender. Remove from heat.
  4. Meanwhile, place lettuce and salad toppings in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil to lightly coat, and very lightly season with salt and pepper. Add juice of one lemon, and continue to toss. I also like to add a spoonful of pesto, but this is optional. Divide among bowls.
  5. Place salmon on top of each salad. Spread a generous layer of pesto on top of each filet. Top with remaining lemon juice. Serve.

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