Howie is not a fan of the pungent taste of straight basil pesto. Pity, because I love it. Just the aroma of freshly bruised basil leaves makes me feel incredibly happy.
He heard about spinach pesto and thought he might like that, though, so I made a batch today. Actually, I made a whole meal:
1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts or walnuts
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound fresh or frozen, thawed fish fillets
In a food processor or a blender, mix together spinach, pine nuts or walnuts, grated Parmesan cheese, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Spread pesto all over fish fillets. Starting at narrow ends, roll stuffed fillets. Secure rolls with toothpicks. Grease a shallow baking dish** and arrange stuffed fillets side-by-side. Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 10 minutes, until fish flesh can easily be broken-up with a fork. Remove toothpicks and serve.
I used walnuts in the pesto and frozen tilapia fish fillets, and butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray (corn-oil) to grease the pan. If I had it to do over again, I would stick closer to the first original pesto recipe I made, only substituting baby spinach leaves for the basil. I would also bake it just a little longer, for 10 minutes left it done on the rolls’ tops, but not where the fillets overlapped in the rolls.
Still, it was really good, and good for us. As I’ve mentioned recently, we’re following the American Heart Association’s nutrition guidelines and one of the recommendations is to have two servings of fish per week. Olive oil is very low in saturated fat, as are the walnuts. And it’s good to have a new fish recipe we both like, so our twice-weekly fish will have some variety.