I kinda hate bananas. I can't really explain it. Can't stand the smell...even hate banana Runts.
Banana leaves, however, have no banana-ish flavor and are great for steaming fish. For some reason, steaming a piece of fish inside a banana leaf seals in moisture and flavor. It's like magic. If you can't find banana leaves, don't worry about it at all. You can steam inside parchment paper just as easily.
I don't like bananas but I do like pesto! I have this very distinct memory of going to see the most recent Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly and even though I loved that movie, having to keep reminding myself to stop thinking about possible pesto combinations and to just watch the movie! (This is what goes on inside the mind of a food blogger, I suppose).
I came up with this pesto for fish because I do not like the combination of cheese and seafood, in general. This has a lot of flavor and only uses one Tablespoon of olive oil for the whole batch. You'll have lots left over, which you could use with chicken or pork, or you could add some more vinegar and olive oil to it and make it into a really fantastic and interesting vinaigrette.
1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
3 cups loosely-packed basil leaves
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, half zested, both sides juiced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for salmon
salt and pepper
2 6-0z. pieces wild salmon
2 banana leaves (or two sheets of parchment paper 1-ft each in length)
1/2 lb. green beans or haricot verts
1. Combine walnuts, basil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, Tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse to desired texture.
2. Prepare steamer. If you don't own an electric steamer, put a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil (you will need a steaming basket and a lid).
3. Prepare the salmon. Place each salmon filet in the middle of the banana leaf or parchment.
4.Drizzle sparingly with olive oil, generously salt and pepper. Fold one side of the leaf (closest to you) over the salmon. Fold both sides (on either side of the filet) in, like a burrito. Then flip the salmon filet one or two times until it resembles a little package.
5. Place 'banana leaf packages' in the steamer and steam for 8-15 minutes depending on thickness. (Usually fish needs 10 minutes per inch of thickness.)
6. Steam green beans after you have taken the salmon packets out, for 4 minutes.
7. Serve the salmon in the banana leaf, unwrapped with a dollop of pesto, alongside the green beans.
Printable version here.