Tag Archives: Pesto

Recipe: Easy Pesto Baked Fish – family meal favourite!

If you were to ask my family what their favourite meal is, it would be Pesto Baked Fish. If you were to ask me what the quickest, healthiest meal I make is, it would be Pesto Baked Fish. It takes me about 2 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook. The fish just seems to evaporate from their plates as soon as I put it in front of them. It’s a speedy-dinner winner!

We are very lucky to have a good traditional fishmonger in our village. I always try and buy my fish from there; it’s good to shop local when you can and the fish is incredible quality. It’s so fresh and they can bone it and prepare it any way I want. For this recipe I use one fillet of white fish per person. I was cooking for the boys so I needed two fillets of skin-on white fish. The sea bass looked great, so I opted for that. I have also bought some plaice fillets and put them in the freezer for another week.

Recipe: Easy Pesto Baked Fish - a family meal favourite!

If you don’t have a fishmonger local to you; you can buy packets of skin-on fillets of fish from the supermarket. You can choose any white fish you like the look of. I’ve made this with plaice, sole, cod, haddock or bass. If you’re cooking a thicker fillet of fish like cod, make sure you cook it for a bit longer to allow for the extra thickness of the fish.

The NHS recommends that we eat two portions of fish each week, with at least one portion being oily fish such as salmon. I’m sure this recipe would also work well with salmon, but my boys find it a bit boring and much prefer the white fish. The white fish I choose is low in fat, an excellent source of protein and contains some of those omega-3 fatty acids which are essential to our diet.

Pesto Baked Fish

Ingredients:
1 fillet of fish per person
Freshly ground pepper
1 heaped spoon of pesto, red or green pesto work equally well
1 teaspoon of breadcrumbs
A small knob of butter

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 200°.

Check your fish over for bones and remove any that you find. Put your fish skin side down on a baking tray which has been covered in baking parchment. Grind some black pepper over the top and put a dab of butter on the paper either side of the fish.

Spread a heaped teaspoon of pesto over the fish. You can use red or green pesto, whichever is your favourite, both work well. Scatter your breadcrumbs over the pesto. I have a tub of dried breadcrumbs in my cupboard, but I have used fresh breadcrumbs. Both kinds are fine, use whichever you have to hand.

Recipe: Easy Pesto Baked Fish - a family meal favourite!

Bake in your pre-heated oven for 15 minutes (or longer if your fish fillets are thick). Check they’re cooked through, they should be starting to brown slightly at the thin edges. Once they’re cooked, take them out of the oven and serve.

Recipe: Easy Pesto Baked Fish - a family meal favourite!

As you can see I’ve served my fish today with creamy mashed potato and vegetables. In the summer it is accompanied by new potatoes and a lovely fresh salad. It’s a flexible, simple summer which is guaranteed to be wolfed down every time by my hungry boys.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also enjoy my 55 ideas for family meals your kids will actually eat.Recipe: Easy Pesto Baked Fish - a family meal favourite!

Healthy Lunch: Spinach & Goats Cheese Pesto Pasta

As the only veggie in the house, I am rubbish at feeding myself, the boys eat healthy, nutritious meaty meals and I might have some cereal, or toast. I’ve tried to avoid pasta because I thought that it wasn’t that great for you, that was until I read this article which contains actual science and shows that if you re-heat your pasta, it digests as a fibre rather than a carbohydrate. Which is brilliant because that means it releases energy differently and it is healthy, or pretty healthy. Whichever, it means it’s back on my menu at last.

Because pasta is now healthy when it’s cold, or better still, re-heated, it makes a pretty perfect lunch box staple. So for my lunches this week I made a big batch of spinach and goats cheese pesto pasta. I can take it out and about with me, it can be eaten cold, or if I’m near a microwave I can quickly reheat it. It’s incredibly simple to make, healthy-ish to eat and just delicious.

Healthy Lunch: Spinach & Goats Cheese Pesto Pasta

Spinach & Goats Cheese Pesto Pasta

Ingredients:
One bag of fresh baby spinach, ready washed
One garlic clove, crushed
100g of toasted pine nuts
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1 and a half teaspoons of honey
200g goats cheese (grated if you can be bothered, cut into pieces if you can’t
Roasted tomatoes
Pasta – I used twirls

Method:
Set up your blender and tip in your fresh spinach, blend for a minute or so until it’s all starting to turn into a paste. Add the garlic, toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and generous amounts of salt & pepper. Blend until it’s all combined and it’s looking like a paste.
Add your goats cheese and then add olive oil until it is the pesto type consistency you need, you’re probably looking at maybe around 100ml of olive oil. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and tip in your pasta, when it’s cooked (instructions should be on the packet), drain and stir the pesto through. You probably won’t need to use all the pesto which can be stored in the fridge for another day.

I topped mine with some thyme roasted tomatoes which are one of my favourite things in the world. It’s a delicious lunch (or evening meal) for all the family, contains at least one of your five a day, it’s easy to make and a great healthy lunch box for when you’re on the go.

What do you pack in your lunch box?

The Truth about Pasta with Pesto

If you have a small child you may already be familiar with the exotic thrill of a plate of pesto pasta for a small child. One plate is rarely enough for my own small boy. In light of his excessive fusilli with pesto stirred through it obsession I did some extensive research and found these 8 entirely true facts about Pesto Pasta!

1. Pesto is more expensive than gold. Even “value” pesto is equal in price to solid silver. Probably.
2. If you’re under the age of ten, pasta with pesto has the same addictive qualities as crack cocaine.
3. Pesto pasta is equally delicious served hot or cold. Other serving suggestions include fresh from the kitchen floor and from down the side of the sofa cushion with extra fluff, all equally delicious.
4. Pasta with pesto makes an ideal breakfast, dinner, tea, supper or midnight snack.
5. It is physically impossible to eat too much pesto pasta. I know, I’ve seen it happen.
6. Pasta with pesto is the secret to world peace. Maybe. If it can keep a four year old happy and in quite a pleasant mood, just imagine its impact on the Middle East.
7. You can spend the day lovingly creating the most nutritionally balanced, organic, free range, delicious meal in the world. But pasta with pesto will always be better.
8. Pasta with pesto does not count towards your five a day. Dammit. Why is that? It’s green, it totally should!

This post is NOT sponsored by the pesto marketing board.

Pasta with pesto