You’ll definitely have some leftover pesto if you make this whole recipe, but that’s kind of the point. Pesto freezes remarkably well, and can be thawed in moments. Since I had made a large batch a week before, I was able to throw this meal together in approximately 10 minutes. Sure, my fish flaked apart into a hundred pieces when I tried to flip it, creating one of the uglier meals I’ve had in ages (that’s why there is no photo), but it was tasty.

I picked this from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Dinners: The Essential Family Cookbook. And it’s not really a recipe as much of a technique. Have pesto? Jamie provides seven other simple meals to throw it on top of. That includes roast chicken, mussels, bruschetta, and grilled vegetables. I was feeling like fish. And the pesto certainly livens up the white fish, giving it an automatic freshness without much work at all.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a co-founder of The Paupered Chef, a blog dedicated to saving time and money while enjoying food in every way possible. He sells wine for a living and lives in Columbus, Ohio.

Dinner Tonight: Cod with Pesto

About This Recipe



  • For the fish:
  • 1 filet of cod or other white fish
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the pesto:
  • 3 cups basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan


  1. 1

    Preheat the grill or broiler. Rub about a tablespoon of olive oil over both sides the fish and season with salt and pepper.

  2. 2

    Cook the fish on the grill or under the broiler until the flesh is white and flaky, about 3-4 minutes a side.

  3. 3

    Meanwhile, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt over medium speed in a food processor. When it’s a thick paste-like consistency, slowly pour in the olive oil. Turn off the processor and fold in the Parmesan. Season with the pepper.

  4. 4

    Plate the fish and top with a dollop of pesto.


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