Air Fryer Pesto Salmon with Lentil and Arugula Salad

Air fryer Gallery
Air fryer Gallery

Victor Protasio

Salmon is air fried in this recipe, then topped with pesto that's been thinned a bit with olive oil, making a fish dish that's as pretty as it is tasty. It's served with a big salad made from lentils, arugula, and red onion, all mixed together with a mustard vinaigrette.

The lentils are canned and only require a quick rinse, saving a lot of prep time since there's no need to cook them. The convenience of store-bought pesto and canned lentils let this meal come together in about 20 minutes.

Pesto Salmon with Lentil and Arugula Salad 

4 (5-oz.) skin-on salmon fillets

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt, divided

1 tsp. black pepper, divided

Cooking spray

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus 1 lemon, cut into wedges (from 2 lemons)

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

8 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 (14.28-oz.) cans lentils, drained and rinsed

¾ cup chopped red onion (from 1 small [6 oz.] red onion)

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

4 cups packed baby arugula (4 oz.)

½ cup jarred basil pesto (from 1 [7-oz.] jar)

1. Preheat air fryer to 375° for 3 minutes. Sprinkle salmon evenly with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Lightly coat air fryer basket with cooking spray. Add salmon, skin side down, to basket; cook until golden brown, fish flakes easily with a fork, and thermometer inserted in center of fillets registers 145°, about 9 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large bowl. Add lentils, onion, parsley, and remaining ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper; fold in arugula, and set aside.Whisk together pesto and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl.

3. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates, and place salmon fillets on top or alongside. Spoon pesto mixture evenly over salmon. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves: 4
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes