If you have a lot of basil, double the oil for this pan-seared fish recipe. It doesn't take any more time to make and it's delicious whisked into dressings, drizzled over grilled vegetables and used to make garlic bread. The same technique works well for lots of other herbs, too—think: tarragon, parsley, chives.

EatingWell Magazine, April 2021


Credit: Eva Kolenko

Recipe Summary

55 mins
55 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Separate basil leaves from stems. Chop the leaves and set aside. Heat the stems, garlic and oil in a small saucepan over medium heat just until you start to see bubbles form around the stems and garlic. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a small bowl (discard the stems and garlic).

  • Cut half the cherry tomatoes in half. Heat 1 tablespoon of the basil oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the halved and whole cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the skins blister and the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in 1/4 cup chopped basil, 1/4 cup basil oil, vinegar, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; gently stir to combine.

  • Wipe the pan clean. Gently pat fish dry and season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the basil oil in the pan over medium heat. Add half the fish, skinned-side down. Cook until a little more than halfway cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until the flesh is opaque, 2 to 4 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining fish and 1 tablespoon basil oil. Serve the fish with the cherry tomato vinaigrette and sprinkled with the remaining chopped basil.

To make ahead

Refrigerate basil oil (Step 1) for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Facts

4 oz. fish & 3 Tbsp. vinaigrette
321 calories; fat 21g; cholesterol 74mg; sodium 426mg; carbohydrates 3g; dietary fiber 1g; protein 29g; sugars 2g; niacin equivalents 16mg; saturated fat 3g; vitamin a iu 636IU; vitamin b6 1mg.