Wild Salmon with Heirloom Tomato Jam & Kale-Cashew Pesto

Photography by Josh Tenn-Yuk courtesy of Canola Eat Well

You've probably heard the many benefits of eating fish regularly for a healthy dose of omega-3 fats, but what about the nutritional benefits of canola oil? Canola oil is grown right here in Canada (supporting local is always a positive!). Nutritionally speaking, canola oil is low in saturated fats and is also a source of omega-3s and -6s! Canola oil is great for brain and heart health. Its high content of monounsaturated fats (or MUFAs) can help reduce the risk of heart disease. You can feel good about using canola oil in almost any recipe!

Notes from Chef Ned Bell: Classic pesto is usually made with basil and toasted pine nuts, but here I’ve gone with herbaceous kale, whose mild bitterness is offset by the gentle sweetness of cashews. (Jar some of this delicious green paste to use with any firm fish, such as rockfish, albacore tuna, or sturgeon.) For the tomato jam and confit, reach for the sweetest heirloom cherry tomatoes you can find. Sweet 100 and Sun Gold are two of my favorite choices.

Serves 4

Total prep time: 30-45 minutes

Heirloom Tomato Jam and Confit

  • 3 pints (about 7 cups) heirloom-style cherry tomatoes (divided)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  1. For the tomato jam, in a medium saucepan combine 4 cups of the tomatoes, water, vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are softened and cooked through. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. For the tomato confit, in the same saucepan combine the remaining 3 cups tomatoes, olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce to low and gently cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes just start to lose their skins. Remove and discard the rosemary.

Kale-cashew Pesto

  • 1/2 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn (about 3 cups)
  • 6 cups spinach leaves
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Set a large bowl of ice water nearby. Add the kale and spinach to the boiling water, and blanch for 45 seconds. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer immediately to the ice water. When completely cool, drain.
  2. In a blender, combine the blanched greens, olive oil, cashews, hot water, Parmesan, and salt and pepper, and puree until smooth.


  • 4 (4 to 5 oz) skinless salmon fillets
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Chopped toasted cashews, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use paper towels to pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Carefully lay the fish in the pan. (If necessary, cook the fish in batches to prevent overcrowding, which will keep the fish from caramelizing properly.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 minute or until a golden crust forms on the flesh. Flip the fillets over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 3 to 4 minutes or until fish is opaque in the center and flakes easily.
  2. Remove from the oven and add the butter to the pan. Allow it to melt while you squeeze the lemon over the fish. Use a spoon to baste each fillet with the buttery juices for about 1 minute. Transfer the fish to a plate.
  3. Spoon the tomato jam onto each plate, add the salmon, and top with a spoonful of pesto and tomato confit. Garnish with the cashews.

Excerpted from Lureby Ned Bell and Valerie Howes. Copyright 2017 by Chefs for Oceans, recipes copyright by Ned Bell.Excerpted with permission from Figure 1. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Click here for a printable PDF version of this recipe.

Craving more information about the health benefits of canola oil? Head over to our blog The C-A-N-O-L-A Philosophy: Easy Ways to Crave Healthy and Eat Sustainably!


Don't forget to join our Craving Healthy Habits online community for more crave-worthy recipes. Besides being a place to share and reflect about your healthy lifestyle journey, we also host contests and challenges to keep you motivated and having fun. We’d love to have you!