Oh. My. COD. (Sorry, I’m the worst. I already know this.)
This Pesto and Walnut Crusted Cod is worth bragging about. Fish is delicate, which is why I feel like most fish recipes call for minimal ingredients–like a spritz of lemon or a light sauce. This could also be why some people believe it’s blasphemous to mix seafood and cheese (which, for the record, I disagree with. There are guidelines, but generally it’s OKAY–thanks for the back-up, Huffington post).
Without being too stingy on ingredients, this pesto and walnut crust allows the fish to be it’s own thing. I don’t believe that we should cook fish only to mask it and all of it’s fine fishiness in other flavors, but on the flip side, I don’t think we should be afraid to experiment and explore–this dish backs me up on why.
Pesto and Walnut Crusted Cod
- 2 6 oz cod fillets or any mild white fish
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of basil pesto
- 3 tablespoons of walnuts chopped
- 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt can sub. with mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
- While the oven heats up, remove the fish fillets from the refrigerator, pat dry with a paper towel, and let them come to room temp.
- Lightly grease/oil a cast iron skillet or baking dish.
- Mix the pesto, chopped walnuts, Greek yogurt, and grated parmesan/romano in a small bowl.
- Before coating the fish with the pesto mixture, give each fillet a little spritz of lemon juice, and then hit the fillets with a bit of kosher salt and ground black pepper. Coat the tops of the fillets evenly with the pesto mixture.
- Bake fish for 13 minutes or until fish is firm to the touch and pesto walnut crust is starting to lightly brown. An alternative way to do this is to bake the fish for 11 minutes and put it under the broiler (on high) for 2-3 minutes. Keep a close eye on the fish while broiling since all broilers are different.