Cilantro Pesto Salmon, Cauliflower, Red Pepper, and Preserved Lemon

Salmon baked with a cilantro pesto crust, and topped with roasted cauliflower, roasted red pepper, and preserved lemon.

Here is a healthy supper that will look beautiful on your dinner table. I guess you could say this is a throwback to the vertical food trend, family style! Bits of preserved lemon are the best surprise to those not expecting them, adding a bright pop wherever they show up. Wonderful things happen to the pesto as it browns in the oven and encrusts the salmon, keeping it moist.

Today was a bit of a busy day and this was incredibly easy to put together. With my mat leave coming to an end, I keep thinking I need to add some quick and easy recipes like this to my repertoire. Okay, so the preserved lemons take some time if you don’t already have them...but it’s well worth the wait, I promise! Find my recipe for preserved lemons here. I really enjoyed the simplicity of how this meal could be served family style right at the table, looking so beautiful. Who needs a centerpiece when you’ve got a glorious fillet of salmon adorned with jewels?

Salmon baked with a cilantro pesto crust, and topped with roasted cauliflower, roasted red pepper, and preserved lemon.

Cilantro Pesto Salmon, Cauliflower, Red Pepper, and Preserved Lemon

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 3-5 servings
  • Category: Healthy Dinner


A simple, healthy meal that will look gorgeous on the dinner table!


1 fillet of salmon (see note)

1 head of cauliflower, cut/broken into small florets

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red peppers (see note)

1/2 preserved lemon, thinly sliced

Cilantro to garnish

For the Pesto:

1 cup packed cilantro leaves

1/2 cup almonds

Juice of 1 lemon

2 large garlic cloves

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 425°F. 

Place red peppers whole, in a small baking dish. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until skins have blackened and are puffed out from the flesh. Place in a bowl and cover with a lid until they are cool enough to handle. Covering with a lid will help the skins to steam away from the flesh. Remove skins, and slice into small bite sized pieces. 

While the peppers are roasting, you can prepare the cauliflower. Toss cauliflower with garam masala and olive oil. Spread on a large baking sheet, spaced out to ensure proper browning. If they are too crowded, the cauliflower will steam instead of brown. Roast the cauliflower for about 25 minutes, until pieces are quite brown, almost charred. 

A good time to place the salmon in the oven, is in the last 10-15 minutes of roasting the cauliflower. Rinse and pat the salmon dry.

Prepare the pesto by first adding the cilantro, almonds, lemon juice, and garlic to a food processor or high powered blender. Pulse until ingredients are finely diced. Add the parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt and puree until it is nearly smooth, with some texture. Spread the pesto over the salmon. Bake for about 10-20 minutes depending on thickness and to desired doneness. 

Top the salmon with the roasted cauliflower, red pepper, preserved lemon, and some fresh cilantro leaves. Serve immediately. 


I used one large fillet, however you could also use 4 individual serving sized fillets

You can use fresh red peppers and roast them yourself as per the recipe, or don’t feel bad about using jarred red peppers if you’d prefer. 

Keywords: salmon, pesto, cilantro, lemon, preserved lemon, cauliflower, red pepper, healthy, dinner, supper, quick, easy

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