Tomato Basil Parmesan Salmon, and a Visit to Pepper Pod Restaurant

Basil Tomato Parmesan Salmon

For this week’s Salmon Saturday, wild caught Sockeye Salmon filets from our freezer stash became a platform for using up some of our garden produce. My lush basil plants on the back patio are starting to wane, I guess you can’t blame them. After a long and successful Summer of providing me with ribbons of flavorful leaves for entrees and several batches of homemade pesto, they’re not happy right now with our unseasonal and record breaking high temperatures. They’re a little long in the tooth. My tomato plants from my community garden plot have covered my cabinet tops with perfect orange and red fruit.

Simply laying some of my purple basil leaves on top of the filet, topped with some slices of fresh tomato and liberally sprinkling on some fresh grated Parmesan cheese and we were enjoying a quick, flavorful and very healthy dinner.

Salmon with tomatoes, basil and parmesan

After a roast in a 375 degree oven for about twenty minutes, the salmon was flaky, the basil warm and fragrant and the tomatoes juicy and sweet. I sided it with some fresh green beans from a co-worker’s garden that were cooked and tossed with butter, salt and pepper. I felt much better about myself after eating that chicken fried steak earlier in the week.

Jackson Lake State Park Sgin

And what about that Chicken Fried Steak?? A few days ago an all points bulletin was posted that Ira Sanders had found a Curlew Sandpiper at Jackson State Park. An extremely rare bird for Colorado. The report found car loads of birdwatchers migrating to this reservoir about an hour and a half drive northeast of Denver on the promise of catching a glimpse.  The Curlew Sandpiper is a small wader that breeds on the tundra of Arctic Siberia. It is strongly migratory, wintering mainly in Africa, but also in south and southeast Asia and in Australasia. It is a vagrant to North America. The bird had been seen as late as 6:30 p.m. the evening before, but by the time we arrived at 8:00 the next morning, and after a couple hours of searching through thousands of shorebirds lining the shores of this barren prairie pot hole destination, we came up empty handed.

We had left home in such a toot, that I hadn’t packed a lunch, so on the way back into Denver, we decided to stop at the Pepper Pod Restaurant, in Hudson, for lunch. The historic Pepper Pod is celebrating 100 years of business and is an American steakhouse restaurant and bar with a rustic decor to go along with it’s rich history. A mounted buffalo head looms over you as you dine on specialties of chicken fried steak and burgers. Frames full of of Indian arrow heads are displayed at eye level in the booths.

Pepper Pod Restaurant Chicken Fried Steak

I have no idea why I didn’t snap photos of the building or it’s interior, but here’s a shot of Bob’s Chicken Fried Steak with a scoop of creamy mashed potatoes and gravy. It was delicious and when we’re out birding in the area, we’ll certainly look forward to a return visit for this specialty.

Pepper Pod Restaurant Burger and Fries

I ordered the burger and fries and loved every bite. The meal was large enough that I brought half the burger home. I didn’t notice any leftovers from Bob’s meal. Could be that I are some of it too. The chicken fried steak came with a trip to the salad bar, which we shared. Next time you’re driving east on I-76, stop at the Pepper Pod. Service was family friendly and the food will fill you up with comfort and flavor.  This, my friends, is why it was a healthy salmon meal for dinner.

Shore birds at Jackson State Park Colorado

As I mentioned, Jackson State Park is a popular destination to look for migrating shorebirds.  I took this photo of a Fall plumage American Avocet.  In spring you’ll find him in his art deco peach and black breeding plumage and walking on thin blue/gray legs. For his trip South, the bird transforms into a more plain black and white wader. He turns his long beak sideways to scoop up bugs that are swarming along the water’s edge.

Tomato Basil Parmesan Salmon…It’s What’s for Salmon Saturday.

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  1. says

    Sounds like you’re having a great trip Lea Ann. The salmon sounds not only delicious, but also so healthy. Salmon and redfish are my absolute, hands-down favorite fish. Thanks for sharing this recipe . . . just pinned it!


  2. says

    Love the tomatoes on the salmon Lea Ann. Very colorful and tasty. Ah, chicken fried steak. It’s been a long, long time. Funny, the only time we’ve been out west we went to a diner for breakfast and that’s what I had. Didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day, but it sure was good.

  3. says

    I have so much more to explore here in CO and really enjoyed learning about Jackson State Park. Glad you had a nice meal on your way home and now a healthy salmon dish to keep your weekend going– enjoy!!

    • says

      Holly, Jackson State Park is not a great place to visit. It’s popular with anglers, barren, not a lot of trees… its actually pretty cruddy. But yes, there are a lot of places to explore nicer than that. :) Thanks for stopping by and always enjoy your comments.

  4. says

    So much to comment on! That salmon looks delicious and I am always happy to see more garden bounty recipes … is there anything better than counters full of fresh veggies in the summer? And that birding adventure sounds like so much fun. I loved that you left “in such a toot” and will be using that. 😉

  5. says

    Love the simple, yet elegant way of making the salmon… I think my basil plan is just calling to be used that way!!!

    Sounds like you had a fun little adventure too…. and the food looks amazing!!!!

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