This is one of the best ways that you will EVER eat fish. This is Giada’s recipe with some of my own modifications, and it is originally supposed to go with swordfish or white fish, but I put it on salmon all the time. I make a batch of the pesto and then divide a few other portions into bags and freeze them for future dinners. We have a great grill pan that goes over two burners; I put the fish on one end and some asparagus or squash and zuchinni on the other. So easy and SO, so good. If you don’t have a grill pan, obviously just use a regular sautee pan for the fish and roast the asparagus. If I can use a meyer lemon and a tangerine in place of a regular lemon and orange, I always do; it really makes all the difference.
Fish with Citrus Pesto
- one bunch of fresh, washed basil (about three cups torn – if you have less, no big deal)
- 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts (I just dry toast in a little pan on the stove, over medium, until warm and fragrant)
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 orange or tangerine, zested and juiced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- some freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of grated parmesan (ONLY use freshly grated, as in you just grated it off of a block of cheese!)
- a few boneless, skinless fish fillets
- add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender, and pulse or blend until well chopped and combined
- slowly pour olive oil into the mixture as you continue to blend or process
- pour mixture into a bowl and stir in grated parmesan
- rub your fish fillets with olive oil and salt and pepper, and grill or pan sautee for about 3 minutes per side (turning only once) depending on the size of your fish, over medium to medium high heat (a delicious crust should develop on the meatier fish varieties)
GRILLED OR ROASTED ASPARAGUS
- one bunch or more of asparagus, rinsed with woody ends snapped off
- extra virgin olive oil (or garlic infused olive oil)
- freshly ground sea salt and pepper or garlic salt
- if using a grill pan, simply give the asparagus a good douse in olive oil and seasonings, and put on the grill for about 10 minutes, turning periodically
- if roasting, give the asparagus a light coat of olive oil and seasonings, and roast for 20-25 minutes (depending on size of asparagus) at 425 degrees
If asparagus is very out of season or overly pricey, I often substitute summer squash and zuchinni. I just slice them into quarter inch rounds, season them the same, but squeeze a bit of lemon on towards the end of either method of cooking. They are especially tasty on the grill. Finish them with a little bit of freshly grated parmesan. If roasting, up your oven temperature just a little.
If you make this pesto ahead and freeze some, you can have dinner ready in less than 15 minutes. Lovely.