Pesto doesn't have to be made with basil. Here we use plenty of fresh cilantro to make a brightly flavored pesto to serve over simple sautéed fish fillets.

EatingWell Test Kitchen


Recipe Summary

25 mins


Cilantro Pesto


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare pesto: Toast almonds in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring or shaking the pan almost constantly, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly.

  • Drop garlic into a food processor or blender with the motor running. Add the toasted almonds and process until ground. Add cilantro, salt and pepper; process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add canola oil, yogurt and lime juice; process until the mixture forms a paste. Taste and adjust seasonings.

  • To prepare fish: Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish; thoroughly dredge fillets (discard any leftover flour).

  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish, working in batches if necessary, and cook until lightly browned and just opaque in the center, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve each portion of fish with about 1 tablespoon pesto.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the pesto (Steps 1-2) for up to 2 days.

Catfish: Look for U.S. farmed catfish--it's sustainably raised in nonpolluting inland ponds and fed a mostly vegetarian diet.

Tilapia: U.S. farmed tilapia is considered the best choice--it's raised in closed-farming systems that protect nearby ecosystems. Central and South American tilapia is considered a good alternative. Avoid farmed tilapia from China and Taiwan, where the fish farming pollutes the surrounding environment.

Haddock (Scrod): To get the best choice, ask for U.S. Atlantic “hook-and-line-caught” haddock--this method causes the least damage to the sea floor and has the least bycatch.

Nutrition Facts

202 calories; protein 13.7g 27% DV; carbohydrates 9g 3% DV; dietary fiber 0.6g 3% DV; sugars 0.4g; fat 12g 19% DV; saturated fat 1.8g 9% DV; cholesterol 43.1mg 14% DV; vitamin a iu 219.2IU 4% DV; vitamin c 1.5mg 3% DV; folate 41.3mcg 10% DV; calcium 22.7mg 2% DV; iron 0.8mg 5% DV; magnesium 24mg 9% DV; potassium 290.7mg 8% DV; sodium 430mg 17% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 11% DV.