Romesco Roast Salmon over Pumpkin and Olive Grits

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I don’t know where I originally saw it or what context it was in, but I recently wrote “pumpkin, red pepper, and olive” in the little notebook that I use to keep track of recipe ideas and inspiration. Kind of a weird combination, right? But ever since I wrote it down, I’ve been obsessed with trying out that flavor combination.

I spent a few weeks dreaming up ways to make the ingredients work together, and then came up with this recipe for romesco roast salmon over pumpkin and olive grits. It worked. The flavors were subtle but complex – not as bold as I usually go for – but this was really, really good.

Romesco Roast Salmon over Pumpkin and Olive Grits 1

Here’s the thing with grits though – make sure you cook them over low heat and stir them pretty often. If they get too hot, they’ll spit and sputter all over the place. Not only will that make a mess, but it can be dangerous! I didn’t have my burner as low as I should have, and now I have a nasty burn on my arm to show for it. Lesson learned.

Tasty Salmon Recipes

Romesco Roast Salmon over Pumpkin and Olive Grits 2
Romesco Roast Salmon over Pumpkin and Olive Grits 3

Romesco Roast Salmon over Pumpkin and Olive Grits

This easy yet elegant dinner highlights the classic Spanish flavor of Romesco. Use prepared sauce, or follow the recipe below to make your own. If desired, polenta can be substituted for the grits. Romesco is a flavorful sauce with Spanish origins. Made with a base of nuts, red peppers, olive oil, and bread, it is delicious with seafood or vegetables. Leftover sauce can be frozen, or will keep for several week refrigerated under a layer of olive oil.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Calories: 456kcal


  • 2 6 ounce Salmon Filets
  • 2 Tablespoons Romesco see recipe below
  • 2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • ½ cup Quick Cooking Grits
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • ¼ cup Mixed Olives Kalamata, Nicoise, Spanish Queen, etc, pitted and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley chopped
  • Black Pepper to taste


  • 1 approx. ½ pound Tomato
  • 2 cloves Garlic separated
  • 2 Tablespoons slivered Almonds
  • 1 Roasted Red Pepper
  • ¼ cup stale Bread Cubes or unseasoned croutons
  • 1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil


To prepare the Romesco:

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Place the tomato slices and one garlic clove on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tomato is soft and caramelized, but not browned.
  • Add cooked tomato, garlic, almonds, bread and vinegar to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, continuing to process the sauce, until the oil has been incorporated and you are left with a thick sauce.

To prepare the salmon:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slather each salmon portion with 1 Tablespoon of Romesco and place on a baking sheet. Roast the salmon for 10-15 minutes, or until it is cooked to a medium level of doneness.
  • Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan set to medium-high heat. When the stock comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and add the grits and the pumpkin. Cook, stirring frequently, until a thick porridge has formed – about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives and season with black pepper.
  • To serve, spoon half the grits onto each serving plate. Top with a potion of roast salmon and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Nutrition Facts
Romesco Roast Salmon over Pumpkin and Olive Grits
Amount Per Serving
Calories 456 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Protein 62g124%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
By on December 19th, 2011

About Lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie.

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