Fish Fillets with Cilantro Pesto
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.
- 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound catfish, tilapia, haddock or other white fish fillets (see Note), cut into 4 portions
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 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.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the pesto (Steps 1-2) for up to 2 days.
- Notes: 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.
Per serving: 202 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 7 g mono); 43 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 14 g protein; 1 g fiber; 430 mg sodium; 291 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 3 lean meat, 1/2 fat
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- Type of Dish
- Main dish, fish/seafood
- Total Time
- 30 minutes or less
- Main Ingredient
- Preparation/ Technique