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Salmon Pesto Beauty Food Recipe by Dana James
In The Kitchen

Date Night Beauty Food: Wild Salmon with Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto


September 29, 2016

Last week, I received a desperate call from a girlfriend: “I need a fish recipe to impress a new man!” I’m pretty simple with my fish recipes; and, they usually go along the lines of a firm fish (like wild salmon or halibut) cooked in a cast iron skillet with coconut oil and sea salt, then served with a citrus zest. Done in 5 minutes.

But this man was special, so she wanted something more. We came up with a libido enhancing recipe that was beautiful to look at and easy to cook: Wild Salmon with Pumpkin Seed Cilantro Pesto. Both salmon and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which increases arousal. (Zinc also has amazing beauty benefits because it accelerates the renewal of cells, repairs damage and encourages healthy hair growth.) Wild salmon has an abundance of omega 3’s, which sensitize the body to the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin, making you feel happier and sexier. And, cilantro was a reputed Middle Age aphrodisiac.

So, how did the date go?  If a woman likes a man, she never tells. But to find out for yourself, give this date night recipe a try the next time you want to impress a special someone.


• 1/8 cup of olive oil + 2 tsp for cooking
• 1/8 cup water
• 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds + an additional 1 tbsp of seeds for garnish
• 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and stems
• 1/4 tsp cracked coriander seeds
• 1/4 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
• 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2x 6-ounce salmon fillets (preferably wild)
• 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges


Heat about one teaspoon of olive oil in a small cast iron skillet, add ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds and sauté until they begin to brown (about 2 minutes). Transfer seeds to a paper towel and blot to remove excess oil. Pulse the pumpkin seeds, cilantro, coriander seeds, and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the fresh lime juice, 1/8 cup of olive oil, and water, blending until a coarse purée forms. Season the pesto to taste with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if desired.
Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the salmon to the skillet and cook until just opaque in the center (about 3–4 minutes per side). Then, place the fillets on plates and spoon the pesto over the top. Garnish with few more pumpkin seeds and serve with lime wedges on the side.


After the salmon, try making these date and coconut treats for dessert.
Or these raw chocolate truffles.


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