Dinner Tonight: Cod with Pesto

Dinner Tonight

Your source for quick recipe every single week day.

  • Yield:2

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.


  • 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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