Wild salmon courgetti with sundried tomato & cashew pesto
This recipe tastes as good as it sounds and looks and is super quick to prepare too. The creaminess from the cashews in the pesto adds the comforting starch-like pasta texture and taste so you will be in pasta land, minus the post pasta bloat!
This dish is delicious served cold as per the instructions or if you would prefer it warm, transfer the pesto courgetti over to a pan and gently heat it up on the hob, then add in your flaked salmon and mix gently before serving up. The pesto recipe makes leftover pesto which you can keep in the fridge in a little bowl or tupperware dish and add it to your salads, poached eggs or roasted fish over the next few days for a delicious flavour hit.
A quick spotlight on the benefits of omega-3 fats and why it’s extra important we get these healthy fats into our bodies….The last 150 years have seen a dramatic increase in foods high in omega-6 fatty acids (soy, grains, cereals, sesame, safflowerm, sunflower and other vegetable oils) along with a dramatic decrease of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseeds, hemp, walnuts, cold water fish, algae) (1). As a result, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the Western diet ranges between 15:1 and 20:1 – far different from the nearly 1:1 ratio that humans evolved with.
This overly omega-6 heavy diet typical of the Western diet, along with other factors such as increased stress, environmental toxins, low antioxidant intake, increased exposure to free radicals (from, e.g., living in polluted cities) promotes silent inflammation which is a major factor in the development of virtually every major chronic degenerative disease, including cardiovascular disease, allergies, type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
So why pick wild salmon over farmed? Wild salmon has a healthier ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids compared to the farmed kind because it lives off algae and the diet it was meant to be reared on versus grain and often dye in the farmed environment. A higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the cells leads to a greater production of anti-inflammatory and brain-protective compounds known as resolvins and protectins (2) so if you’re conscious of keeping your noggin working healthily, this is a reason to ensure you get plenty of good fats in! Studies also show that people who had a higher level of the long hain omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in their blood cell membranes had a 70% reduction in the risk of having a heart attacked compared with those with lower omega-3 content (3,4) so from a heart-protection point of view, again, dose up on good fats!
I hope the recipe is a winner and you enjoy it just as much as I have. Share your recreations of this recipe with me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #Jessipes and tag me using @JessipesRecipes in your posts. I hope you love it!
All the healthy best,
- 2 salmon fillets (approximately 125g each)
- 2 courgettes
- 100g cashews
- 100g sundried tomatoes
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- For decoration (optional): 1 sundried tomato and a few sprigs of parsley
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
- Place the two salmon fillets on a piece of baking paper and pour over the juice from half a lemon.
- Wrap the salmon in the baking paper and put on a baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes. Whilst the salmon is cooking you can make the courgetti and pesto so it's all read to throw together at the end.
- Place the courgette in a spiralizer or julienne peeler and create your courgetti. Place this in a bowl and repeat with the second courgette.
- Season the courgetti with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with a little olive oil and the chopped parsley and mix thoroughly.
- To make the pesto blend the nuts, sundried tomato, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons water and remaining lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. You may want to add a little more olive oil/ water to get a runnier consistency.
- Add a few tablespoons of pesto to the courgetti and mix thoroughly.
- Once the salmon has cooked, allow to cool slightly and flake the salmon into the pesto courgetti, leaving the skin behind.
- Chop the remaining 1 sundried tomato into strips and sprinkle over the top of the courgetti with any remaining parsley to serve.
1.Simopoulos AP. The importance of the omega-6/3 fatty acid ratio in cardiovascular disease and other chronic dieseases. Experimental Medicine and Biology (Maywood) 2008 Jun;233(6):674-688
2. Schmitz G, Ecker J. The opposing effects of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. Progress in Lipid Researh 2008 Mar;47(2):147-155
3. Siscovick DS, Raghunathan TE =, King I, et al. Dietary intake and cell membrane levels of long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risk of primary cardiac arrest. JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association 1995 Nov 1;274(17):1363-1367
4. Block RC, Harris WS, Reid KJ, et al. EPA and DHA in blood cell membranes from acute coronary syndrome patients and controls. Atherosclerosis 2008 Apr;197(2):821-822