salmon with pesto

Salmon with Cilantro Pesto Serves: 4


  • Cooking spray (optional)
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free garlic-herb seasoning blend
  • 4 salmon filets (about 4 ounces each), rinsed and patted dry
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or lightly spray with cooking spray.
  • In a food processor or blender, process the pesto ingredients for 15 to 20 seconds, or until slightly chunky.
  • Place the filets about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  • Spread the pesto evenly over the top of the filets. Sprinkle with ¼ cup almonds.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

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International news: The Mediterranean diet (veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, beans, nuts, olive oil, even a bit of red wine with meals) has been explored for years as a model for healthy eating, in part because people in the region seemed to have lower rates of heart disease and longer lives. Recently, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine received a lot of attention because it reported on the first major clinical trial to measure the diet’s effects on heart risks. The research involved 7,447 people in Spain. Those who followed the diet, supplemented by extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, had a reduced occurrence of cardiovascular events, namely stroke, as compared to the control group, who were advised to follow a low-fat diet (no added nuts or extra virgin olive oil).

The local angle: Nellie Herman, registered dietitian at Woodland Healthcare, says most of her clients—and too many other Americans—follow ”the Western diet” (high in saturated fats from red meats, bacon, pizza, full-fat dairy products, etc.). She advises us all to adopt heart-healthy eating habits and recommends the Mediterranean-style recipe above.