Oh MAN is this relish good. This pecan-pepper relish is an amazing complement to the roasted salmon but I’d eat this relish on top of anything! It’s the perfect combination of crunchy, sweet, salty and spicy with a hint of bright citrus. The Food Network recipe calls for walnuts, but I only had pecans on hand- most nuts will probably work well in this recipe. The starchy peas are cooked with bacon and onions and are then hit with some lemon zest to really round out all the flavors in this dish. I always use the combination of peas, bacon and onion for a side dish or simple dinner by tossing the bacon peas with spaghetti and grated Parmesan. You can serve the salmon with whatever starch you’d like (quinoa, orzo, couscous, rice) but I served mine with these versatile peas. (You did know peas are in the starchy vegetable category along with beans, corn and potatoes and that they should be considered a starch in your diet, right?) The colors in this dish are fantastic and it tastes even better.
Roasted Salmon With Pecan-Pepper Relish and Bacon Peas
adapted from the Food Network Magazine
Total Time: 1 hr
Makes 1 serving of salmon and extra peas
• 1 teaspoon herb butter, room temp*
• lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
• 1 salmon filet
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bacon Peas (Toss the extra with spaghetti/tortellini with some Parmesan and you’ve got leftovers)
• 3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
• 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons herb butter*
• 12 oz package of frozen sweet peas, thawed
• lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
• 2 tablespoons pecans, finely chopped (sub walnuts/almonds/pistachios)
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon honey
• 2 tablespoons diced roasted red peppers
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine the herb butter, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Rub the butter mixture on the top of the salmon flesh. Lay skin-side down in a baking dish covered in aluminum foil and sprinkle with another pinch of salt and pepper. Roast until just cooked through, about 12 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and add onion to the bacon drippings. Cook onion with a pinch of salt and pepper over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the butter, peas, lemon zest, and salt and pepper, to taste. Mix to warm the peas and take off heat.
Add pecans, cayenne, lemon juice, honey, roasted red peppers, olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste. Mix to combine.
To serve, plate a pile of peas in the center of your plate and place the salmon on top of the bed of peas. Top the salmon with the pecan-pepper relish.
*I use herb butter since I have an excess, but you can use plain, unsalted butter you’d like