As I’ve said before, I grew up (and continue to be) very spoiled when it comes to meat and fish. Rarely do I eat meat or fish that wasn’t caught by my dad or another family member. My dad goes fishing so often that as a child I would sometimes get tired of eating salmon.

Yes, I sicken myself, too. But I’ve always had fun catching them.

Now, I cherish the beautiful reddish-pink chunks of salmon I take from my parents’ giant freezer each time I visit home. More than that, I firmly believe that there is no better way to prepare it than the way my mom does. Perfection. Everytime I make salmon, this is the way I make it.

For the first time ever, I started by removing the pin bones, skin, and dark meat. This is because I had an alterior motive for making this salmon, which you will see later this week. It also just makes it a bit easier to eat, although it is more labor intensive.

So pretty. Holy moly. Okay. Then I sliced a lemon and cut some butter up into small cubes. Cutting butter this way makes it easier to disperse over the salmon without covering it.

Then I season the salmon with a bit of salt and lemon pepper. Then comes the good stuff. Although this is super popular now, I will go to my grave swearing my mom started it. Cover the salmon in a nice layer of pesto. If you’re a college student on a budget, check out Gourmet Gardens’ Basil as an alternative to pesto. That’s what I’m using here.

After this, I add minced garlic, the chopped butter, and a thin layer of parmesan. Yes, I know, fish and cheese is sacrilege. Blah, blah, blah. It’s freakin’ tasty. May I remind you of tuna melts? Or salmon melts? Or of the fact that many seafood chowders use cheese? So there.

Next, top with the sliced lemon.

Now it gets wrapped up in foil and thrown into the oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until flaky. It should look like this.

So tasty. And anything tastes awesome along side it. Like, a nice heaping of tasty veggies, some mashed potatoes, good bread, roasted corn… you name it. I’ve done it all, I tell ya.

Mom’s Salmon
By my dearest mother

1 salmon fillet (pin bones, dark meat, and skin removed, if desired)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp pesto
1/8 cup (1/4 of a cube) of butter, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated parmesan
1/2 lemon, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place salmon fillet on a sheet of foil big enough to wrap it.
3. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
4. Distribute pesto into an even layer over the fillet. Spread minced garlic evenly over fillet. Dot with cubes of butter. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over it. Top with lemon slices and wrap in the foil.
5. Place wrapped fillet in a glass baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until flaky.