When it comes to white fish, most people think of something breaded or battered and deep fried. As it’s usually inexpensive, it’s not considered a kind of fish for haute cuisine, but I say that if you’re clever, you can turn even the simplest ingredient into something that will wow your guests.
Take this dish.
I take the Canadian classic, Cod, and combine it with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and white wine. The result is a dish that tastes as good as anything you’d get in a fancy restaurant for a fraction of the price and without the pretentious ambiance. Though I do use dill for this recipe, basil would be great too and any leftover pesto is a great addition to tuna or egg salad, or even salad dressing!
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Medium -Easy
Prep time: 5-10 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
1 Large White Fish Fillet or 3 Small Ones – I used cod, but use what’s easy to get
1 ½ Cups Chopped Tomatoes
2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 ½ Cups White Wine
1 Green Onion, thinly sliced
2 Cups Fresh Dill, cleaned and cut in half
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Lemon, thinly sliced – You can use the same lemon you got the zest from.
1 Teaspoon Salt
½ Cup + 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil, divided
1 Tablespoon of Butter
1 Food Processor – this is one of the rare occasions where you DO need a food processor. If you can’t afford one, ask around. You may have a relative or friend who’ll let you use theirs in exchange for a little of the pesto.
1 Baking Pan
Measuring Cups and Spoons
One Fine Mesh Grater or Lemon Zester – Available in dollar stores
1 Regular Spatula
1 Rubber Spatula
1 Knife and Cutting Board
Preheat the oven to 350 0F.
In a baking pan, add the tomatoes, green onion, and 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil.
Pop the pan in the oven and walk away for 20 minutes.
Pour the wine into the pan and walk away for another 10 minutes – this will allow the wine to reduce a bit and marry with the tomatoes.
Add half the minced garlic and the butter and pop it back in the oven while you get your fish ready.
Put the remaining garlic in your food processor with the lemon zest, dill, and salt and pulse until finely chopped.
With the food processor running on low, slowly add the half cup of Olive Oil through the feeder spout until a loose pesto forms. You may need to pause the food processor halfway through and scrape the inside of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure even mixing.
Pat your fish filet(s) dry to remove any excess moisture and smother it on both sides with your pesto. Season with a little fresh pepper.
Take the pan out of the oven and push the tomatoes to the sides.
Put your pesto smothered fish in the middle and top with the lemon slices.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the juices of the fish have turned a milky colour.
Serve with rice or potatoes and your veg of choice.
-Samantha R. Gold
Questions? Comments? Requests?
Bring it on!
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