June 01, 2005



Arugula Pesto

Place arugula, cheese, lemon juice, pistachios, pepper and salt (not too much if pistachios are salted) in food processor bowl.

Pulse mixture until almost smooth, scraping down the bowl sides with a spatula after every few pulses.

With machine running slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil to create an emulsion.

Set aside in a clean bowl and drizzle with pistachio oil.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut tops off beets but leave skin on. Reserve beet tops.

Place beets in cold water to cover by 2 inches.

Bring water to boil, reduce heat and simmer until pierceable with a skewer but hard in the middle.

Drain beets and place on roasting sheet (on a bed of kosher salt if you wish).

Roast for 5 – 10 minutes – keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Remove to a plate to cool.

Set beets aside.


Place chicken stock in saucepan.

Bring to boil and reduce heat to below boiling.

Heat olive oil in heavy skillet with straight sides over medium heat.

Stir and sweat onions in pan until just translucent.

Add shallot, garlic, saffron, salt and pepper stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add rice and stir constantly until edges of kernels are transparent but not browned.

Add white wine and reduce heat to medium low.

Reduce wine, stirring to prevent sticking) until liquid is almost gone.

Add enough hot chicken stock to just cover rice and repeat wine method.

Continue adding stock in batches until rice is al dente.

Add cream, cheese and butter stirring until incorporated.

Remove from heat and hold, covered.

Cooking the Salmon

Preheat oven broiler and move rack to second position from top.

Reserve 4 tsp pesto for garnish.

Using a spoon smear remaining pesto on skin side of salmon to create an even crust.

Drizzle olive oil on pesto on surface of fish.

Place salmon in pan under broiler with skin toward heat .

Broil for 3-5 minutes until pesto colors lightly.

Turn oven down to 400 and move rack to middle level.

Roast 7-10 minutes until medium rare (dark pink in center).

Final Assembly

While salmon is roasting in the oven, peel beets with a paring knife.

Heat sauté pan with olive oil over medium high heat.

Place a serving of risotto in a mound in the middle of 4 serving plates.

When cooked divide salmon into four pieces and place with pesto/skin side down on risotto.

Sauté beet greens quickly in the hot olive oil while adding salt and pepper.

Remove greens, drain on paper towel and chop roughly.

Scatter roasted beets and beet greens around plate.

Place small dollop of fresh arugula pesto in center of each fish.

Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Chef Derik Burgess of the Martin House Restaurant in Provincetown



Arugula Pesto
  • 4 cups young arugula
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 tb pistachio oil (omit if you can’t find it)
  • 2 tpsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups homemade of low sodium canned chicken stock
  • Olive Oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup Spanish onion finely diced
  • 1 tbsp shallot finely diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic finely chopped
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 12 medium size fresh baby beets with tops
  • 4 eight-ounce wild salmon fillets
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