A Warm Introduction

Salmon with puff pastry and pesto heralds the change of seasons

During the peak of growing season each year, I make batches of pesto sauce and freeze them. During the winter and early spring, nothing takes me back to the hot, sunny days of summer like the taste of that pesto.

This is an easy-to-assemble recipe that combines the strong flavor of basil with rich salmon and delicate puff pastry. The dish makes a simple supper or could be “company ready” with the addition of asparagus and a light salad to accompany it. All together, it’s a menu that signals spring is here—and summer isn’t far behind.

RECIPE: Salmon with Puff Pastry and Pesto


1 sheet frozen puff pastry
Four 4–6 oz pieces of salmon
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pesto sauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet pan with aluminum foil.

Unfold puff pastry on a cutting board and use a sharp paring knife to cut into 4 square pieces. Prick each square all over with the tines of a fork. Arrange the pastry squares on one end of the baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. At the other end of the baking sheet, place the 4 pieces of salmon with 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds. Bake for 10–12 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown and the salmon is firm.

Immediately place each piece of pastry on a dinner plate. Top each puff pastry with 1 tablespoon of pesto sauce. Place salmon on top of pesto and serve.

Serves 4.

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis.

Nancy Lynch is a self-taught cook from a family of foodies. She teaches cooking classes at Orange Tree Imports and All Through the House in Stoughton. E-mail your questions, comments or recipe requests to diningin@madisonmagazine.com.

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