The focus for this year’s Food Revolution Day was about sharing the power of cooking, the benefits of cooking from scratch and, ultimately showing people that changing our food choices can make us both healthier and happier. Instead of one official recipe as there has been in years past, this year, we have a set of 10 recipes chosen by Jamie Oliver that he deems the “Starter Pack of Cooking”. Each recipe covers a different skill and technique that can give anyone the confidence to cook good, real, healthy meals for themselves and their families, for now and the future. Jamie has spoken about the idea of ten recipes to save your life since his TED talk in 2010. Each month from now until December, I’ll be sharing my own twist on Jamie’s recipes which will be showcased along with nine other Ambassador’s ideas over on JamieOliver.Com. You can see previous posts here.
Can I tell you a secret? I’m not the biggest fan of fish. There, I said it. Some of you who have been reading for a while will perhaps remember as I struggled through the fish chapters of Around my French Table (thankfully Neil is a huge fish fan as are lots of our friends) and others will be scratching their heads wondering how someone can be born and raised in Australia and NOT like fish. Not sure how that happened but I do like most seafood and I am currently learning to like fish. On the Camino I ate a fair amount of fish (because, to be honest, there’s only so much pork one can eat in a day) – plain, white grilled or pan-fried fish which is the way I like it right now. Who knows, maybe in the future I will eat salmon or tuna (doubt it but never say never!) but for now, white fish is the way to go for me!
For this month’s Food Revolution Recipe Twist, we were tasked with tweaking Jamie’s Salmon with Pesto-Dressed Veg and I immediately knew that I’d do some kind of white fish, simply pan-fried. For the pesto-dressed vegetables, I took a cue from the dish I made with my boys’ cooking club last term and changed up the pesto a little. That time, I used pumpkin seeds and arugula which was really tasty – this time I’m using pistachios instead of pine-nuts which makes for a brilliant green hue. I used green beans because they were what looked good at the market but the pesto would work with any vegetable, I think.
Pan fried white fish with pistachio-pesto green beans
Easy pan0fried white fish with pistachio pesto dressed vegetables.
For the pesto
- 85g (1/2 cup) pistachios (shelled, raw, unsalted)
- approx 30g (1 cup loosely packed) basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 30g (1/4 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 120mls (1/2 cup) olive oil - maybe more, depending on how liquid you want the finished product
For the fish
- 4 white fish (i.e. cod) fillets
- approx 1 cup flour
- salt and pepper, for seasoning the flour
For the beans
- 4 handfuls green beans, topped and tailed (this simply means to break or cut off the ends)
- approx 2-4 tablespoons butter
- Lemon wedges
- To make the pesto:
- Blitz the ingredients in a food processor or mini chopper until well blended - you might need up to 60mls (1/4 cup) more olive oil to achieve the consistency you want.
- To prepare the fish:
- Place the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl or plate. Mix well.
- Coat each piece of fish in the flour mixture, making sure it's evenly coated. Set aside on a clean plate until you are ready to cook it (refrigerate if necessary).
- To prepare the beans:
- Steam or boil the beans until al-dente (they should still be a bit crisp).
- Drain and return to a hot pan and add 2-3 tablespoons of the pesto to coat the beans well.
- Cover and set aside until serving.
- Meanwhile, cook the fish:
- Heat the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the fish to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until crispy and golden on the underside.
- Flip the fish and cook a further 3-4 minutes until the underside is crispy and the fish is cooked through.
- Remove from the pan and serve with a wedge of lemon and the pesto-dressed beans.
Note that I cut the fish into smaller pieces for the photos in this post. If you do this (much easier to serve smaller pieces to kids, for example), it will take much less time to cook.
How about you – are you a fish person? What’s your favourite way to enjoy fish? And what fish would you serve me?