I Love Kellie Pickler: Hillbilly Supper Club: Grilled Wild Salmon with Fresh Herb Pesto Aioli

Make Kellie's Favorite Dish

I Love Kellie Pickler’s Hillbilly Supper Club is back with a delicious dinner you can whip up at home. And get this, Kellie Pickler’s favorite Hillbilly Supper Club dish is Chef Ken Johnson’s Grilled Wild Salmon. You too can cook just like Kellie Pickler and friends.

Grilled Wild Salmon with Fresh Herb Pesto Aioli

Serves 8.

Hint from the chef:
Try to find the freshest WILD salmon you can and buy when in season from a reputable source. Responsibly farmed salmon can be found when wild is unavailable and is worth doing your homework to get. Make sure to use fresh herbs in pesto aioli for it to work.


  • 3 lb. Fresh Wild Salmon (cut in 6 oz fillets)
  • 1/4 cup grated grand padano or parmesan reggiano cheese
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of walnut pieces
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup of fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup of dry white wine

Lay salmon skin side down on pan and lightly brush with olive oil and dust with freshly cracked pepper.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit while preparing grill.

In a small food processor… Combine 1/2 cup of olive oil with cheese, lemon juice, garlic, walnuts, salt, pepper and herbs and blend into a pesto.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet on medium heat… add wine and whisk… spoon in pesto mixture and whisk together… reduce to low heat…

Brush a clean grill grate with olive oil to prevent sticking.
Grill Salmon Skin side down for 2 to 3 minutes with grill top open.
Then gently slide metal spatula between skin and fish and carefully flip.
With a fork remove grilled skin and discard.
Grill for 2 more minutes with grill top closed.Based on a 3 inch thick filet… maybe a minute longer if thicker but do not over cook or will be dry. Try not to flip more than once.
Transfer fish to pan and loosely place a sheet of tin foil over… Let rest for 5 minutes.
Spoon pesto aioli over warm fish filets and brush on evenly.

© Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2015

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Writer and producer for CMT.com. Lives in Los Angeles and once glued herself to the TV.