Wild Garlic Pesto Baked Salmon with Gnocchi couldn't be easier & quicker to make. Filling & wholesome, this seasonal dinner is ready in under half an hour!
This delicious recipe came about as another way to celebrate wild garlic season and to put my wild garlic and walnut pesto to good use! Baked salmon covered with beautifully pungent wild garlic pesto goes so well with potato gnocchi and even though it seems that it should take a long time, this dish is all done and dusted in under half an hour!
Salmon and its alternatives
We absolutely love fish in our house and eat it twice a week with salmon being on our menu once a week! When it comes to salmon I love its richness, how beautifully it carries other bold flavours and of course its health benefits too! I tend to buy salmon sides or even whole fish as it works out cheaper in most cases especially when it goes on special around holidays etc. Frozen salmon fillets would be even more budget friendly alternative.
If you enjoy salmon as much as we do try this delicious Easy One-Pan Salmon & New Potatoes Bake. It's a fantastic and very low maintenance dinner for entire family!
If you are not a fan of salmon, you could go for any meaty type of white fish instead. Cod, pollock or rock salmon (also called huss or dogfish) will be good substitutes.
How do I know when my salmon is cooked?
Sometimes it can be tricky to gauge how long your salmon should be in the oven for. The average size salmon side or half a side will take anything between 12-15 minutes to cook (when cooked at 180C/350F & depending on the thickness of the fish). The best indicator would be whether your fish is easy to flake and its flesh looks opaque (not translucent). If you are using few small fillets instead of a side or half a side your timing will be similar as it's all about the thickness of the fillet.
If, once out of the oven, your fish is still ever so slightly pink in the middle, simply cover it with aluminium foil and let it rest for 5 minutes or so. It will still continue to cook gently in residual heat and will be perfect after few minutes of rest.
If you have one of those handy cooking thermometers, you can check the internal temperature of the salmon which should be 60C or 140F.
I actually prefer my salmon slightly pink in the middle but when cooking for the family I go for opaque fish all the way through.
Serving and storing suggestions
Even though this lovely dish is so quick and easy enough to be served as a midweek supper it is also perfect for informal dinner with friends (make sure everybody is ok with this amount of garlic though).
I like to flake the salmon over gnocchi but you could also slice nice and neat pieces of the fish to lay them over the pasta.
This delicious Pesto Baked Salmon with Gnocchi is best when eaten just after it's been cooked. However, if you have some leftover gnocchi left you could store them in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat gently in the microwave. As far as salmon is concerned, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. I would not reheat it as it will make it dry and rubbery but it would be perfect eaten cold in salads or sarnies!
Wild Garlic Pesto Baked Salmon with Gnocchi - Step-By-Step
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and put large pan of salted water on to boil (one pot for broccoli and gnocchi). Place your salmon filet skin side down on the lightly oiled baking tray (I lined mine with some aluminium foil) and spread 2-3 tablespoon of wild garlic pesto (or any pesto) on top. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillet). Mine wasn't very thick so it only took 12 minutes for it to be done.
Melt your butter in the large frying pan or skillet and sauté/pan fry sliced leeks until softened but not coloured. Add creme fraiche followed by remaining pesto and mix well to create a sauce. Set aside.
Boil broccoli florets in a pan of salted water until just done and still slightly al dente. It will take anything between 2-3 minutes depending on the size of your florets. Take it out onto the plate with the slotted spoon.
Bring the broccoli water back to boil and cook your gnocchi as per directions on the packaging. Once ready take them out with the slotted spoon and straight into the pan with your pesto sauce. Mix cooked gnocchi gently with the sauce and add lemon juice. Follow with broccoli florets and mix them in too.
Flake your baked pesto salmon into the gnocchi stirring gently to incorporate or alternatively cut it into four portions and serve on top of gnocchi. Grate over some fresh parmesan cheese, serve and enjoy!
Wild Garlic Pesto Baked Salmon with Gnocchi
- 500 g salmon fillet (skin on) half a side of salmon
- 125 ml (small jar) wild garlic pesto or any green pesto
- 1 head of broccoli separated into florets
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 1 leek cleaned and thinly sliced
- 100 g light creme fraiche
- juice of half a lemon and more to serve
- 500 g pack of gnocchi (fresh or vacuum packed)
- freshly grated parmesan to serve
- salt, pepper, oil for greasing baking tray
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and put large pan of salted water on to boil.
- Place your salmon filet skin side down on the lightly oiled baking tray (I lined mine with some aluminium foil) and spread 2-3 tablespoon of pesto on top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillet). Mine wasn't very thick so it only took 12 minutes for it to be done.
- Melt your butter in the large frying pan or skillet and sauté/pan fry sliced leeks until softened but not coloured. Add Creme Fraiche followed by remaining pesto and mix well to create a sauce. Set aside.
- Boil broccoli florets in a pan of salted water until just done and still slightly al dente. It will take anything between 2-3 minutes depending on the size of your florets. Take it out onto the plate with the slotted spoon.
- Bring the broccoli water back to boil and cook your gnocchi as per directions on the packaging. Once ready take them out with the slotted spoon and straight into the pan with your pesto sauce.
- Mix cooked gnocchi gently with the sauce and add lemon juice. Follow with broccoli florets and mix them in too.
- Flake your baked pesto salmon into the gnocchi stirring gently to incorporate or alternatively cut it into four portions and serve on top of gnocchi.
- Grate over some fresh parmesan cheese, serve and enjoy!
- Nutritional values are approximate and should be treated as a guideline only.
- Best eaten once cooked. Leftover gnocchi can be stored in a fridge for up to 3 days and reheated gently in a microwave.
- Baked salmon can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and used cold in salads and sandwiches. I would not recommend reheating it.
More wild garlic recipes you might enjoy
Wild Garlic Chicken Stew with Cheesy Dumplings
Roast Chicken Traybake with Shallots & Wild Garlic Pesto
Vegan Cheese Scones (with Wild Garlic)
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I'm linking up to Cook Blog Share hosted by Flipped-Out Food
Just cooked this tonight. First time cooking with creme fraiche. I couldn't get any lemons so I switched it out for a lime. I also used kale gnocchi from Trader Joe's.
It was an absolute hit. Thank you for this recipe! I can't wait to eat leftovers for tomorrow's lunch.
Hi Denise, Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I'm so pleased to hear you've enjoyed the recipe. 🙂
Eb Gargano | Easy Peasy Foodie says
This is so my kind of food! I love the sound of that wild garlic pesto, and salmon and broccoli are always favourites in this house! Eb x
Thanks Eb! 🙂 Wild garlic pesto is fantastic and completely different in flavour than its regular green pesto cousin although the basil pesto would work here really well too! x
Jenny Walters says
Wow Jo this sounds immense. I love Salmon too and this looks full of flavour. I would love to get my chops round this any day of the week. Will def have a try with this. I have never cooked with wild garlic though so I must educate myself! One of the best parts of blogging!
Thanks Jen! It's such a flavourful dish! Salmon works so well with bold, garlicky flavours and soft gnocchi just mellow everything out a bit! I just cannot get enough of wild garlic at the moment.
Anna | Once Upon A Food Blog says
I've never cooked with wild garlic and would love to give it a go. I fancy collecting my own, I like the idea of some free food! This dish looks gorgeous. I absolutely love salmon and cook it weekly like you do. Dan and my youngest eat it although it's not their favourite meal of the week. My oldest absolutely hates it - she usually ends up with a Quorn burger!
Thank you Anna! 🙂 I must admit although I do love the idea of foraging the only food I ever foraged for are blackberries and even those are so close to our house that I don't think it counts 😉 lol Thankfully, wild garlic is available via my weekly veg box so I'm sorted. 🙂
Michelle Frank | Flipped-Out Food says
I am wild about salmon, but my husband is not. So I frequently buy a filet for myself—I can't wait to try this recipe out for my "all about me" meal! I've been planning to hit up the farmers' market to find some wild garlic, but it won't happen this weekend: we're expecting 3–5" of SNOW. 😐
I also love the liberal amounts of broccoli in your recipe! Thanks for bringing your Wild Garlic Pesto Baked Salmon with Gnocchi to #CookBlogShare!
Thanks Michelle! 🙂 Oh wow snow is back? I thought you were getting Spring like weather at last! Hopefully it will be just a little hiccup and you will be out of the woods weather wise!
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use regular type of pesto as a substitute. Of course the flavours will be slightly different but still delicious! 🙂