Cod with basil mint pesto and garden tomatoes


The garden has been slow going this summer. Each week I think it's going to be the week all the tomatoes turn red... but not yet. I was able to pull out a handful of cherries, grapes, and romas but not the treasure trove I'm excited for.

Meanwhile, I was texting with a girlfriend that I had over for this amazing fish dinner and sent her a few other favorite quick winners. Looking back over the meals there are some really common elements. I always cook with a white fish. I normally use a pork product, perhaps some tomatoes... and cheese is practically a guarantee. That being said, I need to learn how to cut back on the pork and added salt... so tonight's dinner just has cheese. Baby steps folks.

I really love this super simple dish. It is not exactly as easy as this nicoise roasted fish but it is not too far off. There are pretty much 3 steps. 1 - make the pesto. 2 - sear the fish. 3 - cut the tomatoes. Not bad right? I pulled all the fresh ingredients from my garden so I only had to pick up the $3 cod fillet at the store. While I theoretically understand a fillet serving size is 6-8 oz, I always want it smaller. I often go with 4 to 5. In this case, I went with 4 because I had just stuffed my face with some gluten free tortilla chips. All about the balance guys.

Some notes about this recipe:
  • Tomatoes // pick a variety of colors for flavor and look. If this was only red cherries you wouldn't be as excited. In this case, I had some yellows, a red roma, and my new black cherry tomatoes. They are really quite great.
  • Cutting style // It would be easiest to just cut the tomatoes in half and move on, but try to slice them thin-ish. This one makes it lie flatter on the plate for plating ... but also means the pesto really sticks to everything in an amazing way.
  • Pesto // I love fresh pesto. I went nut free on this one ... pretty much because I forgot. But the main goal here was to use some of my plentiful basil. 
  1. Using a food processor, prep and make your pesto. I was only cooking for 1 and not measuring so my ingredient amounts are less than helpful. But combine, a handful of basil, 3-ish leaves of mint, 1 clove of garlic, and maybe 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese. Pulse until it begins to form a paste. Then add in the olive oil while the processor is running. Stop adding oil when you are at the consistency you prefer.
  2. Set your skillet to a high heat with a bit of olive oil. Pat dry your fish with a paper towel and then press into a dish of flour. 
  3. Add the fish to the skillet and let cook for about 3-4 minutes on either side depending on thickness. This fillet was pretty thick. Remove when the fish flakes as you fork it. Need more information? Google how to cook white fish.
  4. Slice your tomatoes and then mix them with a few spoonfuls of the pesto. 
  5. Plate your tomatoes, then fish, and then drizzle more of the pesto on top. 
  6. Enjoy!
Shopping List
white fish fillet
flour
basil
mint
grated parmesan
garlic
garden tomatoes

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