Plum tomatoes work best in this recipe; juicier tomatoes would thin the pesto. No need to seed or peel them. You can make the pesto ahead and keep it chilled. Stir in the tomatoes just before serving.
2 cups basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato (about 3 medium)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 (6-ounce) red snapper or other firm whitefish fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups hot cooked orzo
How to Make It
To prepare pesto, combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. Add cheese and red pepper; process until blended. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Add tomato, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper, stirring gently to combine.
To prepare fish, sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray, and broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Place 1/2 cup orzo on each of 6 plates, and top each serving with 1 fillet and 1/4 cup pesto.
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I used tilapia when I couldn't get red snapper, but it was a colorful, tasty dish. The pesto livens up the appearance of the white fish and adds a bit of depth with the tomatoes. I used whole wheat orzo to add just a bit of flavor.
I just made this dish last night as a quick weeknight meal, and we LOVED it! We used a different (in season) whitefish and I pan seared it in lieu of broil due to thickness (it was a thinner cut of fish), but otherwise made the pesto as prescribed - extremely yummy! We also skipped the orzo to go with garlic bread instead, which I think was a great idea in hindsight since the extra pesto on top of the bread made this a wonderful meal. Serve with steamed green beans - it's ready in ~20 minutes total from start to finish. This is a keeper; enjoy!
The only change I made was to use quartered grape tomatoes, and saute them for a few minutes until they start to break down before mixing in with the pesto. This made a really nice sauce. I also used bulgur wheat instead of orzo.