This pesto-topped salmon dish makes a spectacular meal. Make one or all of the side dishes to go with it.
Thaw salmon, if frozen. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels.
In a large skillet, brown half of the salmon in hot olive oil about 2 minutes. Turn, brush the tops with some of the pesto. Brown for 2 minutes. Transfer to a 15x10x1-inch baking pan, pesto side down. Brush the tops with pesto. Repeat with remaining salmon.
Bake, uncovered, in 400 degree F oven 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes with fork.
For each serving, arrange as follows, if you like: Place 2 Polenta Fries on a warm dinnerplate. Top with Nutmeg Spinach and another 2 fries. Place a salmon fillet on the fries. Spoon some Tomato-Basil Sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings.
Cut a 16-ounce tube of refrigerated cooked polenta into 1-1/2-inch slices. Fry, 4 or 5 at a time, in deep, hot fat (375 degrees F) for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or till golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining polenta. (Keep warm in a 300 degree F oven while frying others).
In a medium saucepan, cook 2 minced shallots or 2 tablespoons chopped green onion in 2 teaspoons olive oil until tender. Stir in 1/2 cup dry white wine. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in 1 cup chicken broth. Heat to boiling. Stir in 2 cups chopped, peeled seeded tomatoes and 4 minced cloves garlic. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons water and 4 teaspoons cornstarch. Stir into the sauce mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Makes about 2 cups sauce.
Coarsely chop one 10-ounce bag prewashed spinach (about 8 cups); set aside. In a large skillet, stir together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons minced shallot or finely chopped green onion, 1 minced clove garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Stir the mixture over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the chopped spinach to the skillet. Cover and cook for about 2 minutes more or until the spinach just begins to wilt, stirring the mixture occasionally. Remove skillet from heat. Makes about 3 cups.