What Fish Goes Well With Pesto?

Wet fish counter

Short answer
Any seafood can be paired with pesto, but the robust flavour of our sauces means the biggest rewards come when paired with delicate white fish such as whiting or pollack that are not overly flavoursome on their own.

Long answer
You can pair pesto with literally any fish you like. We’ve developed some successful recipe pairings with everything from low-cost tilapia to mid-priced hake to top-dollar dover sole.

Most of the time, though, when we've saved up enough to treat ourselves to a fresh monkfish tail, a whole John Dory, or a bunch of newly foraged razor clams, we prefer to cook them with little more than a sprinkling of sea salt, a knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

From time-to-time we'll pair our pesto with hand-dived scallops or include it in a crab roll. However, our general rule is that if we're about to drop upwards of £50 on a whole turbot, a Newlyn lobster, or some sashimi-grade tuna, we want to taste the meat in its full, unadulterated glory.

Where pesto really comes into its own is with delicate white fish like pangasius and catfish, which are at the cheaper end of the spectrum. Because these fish don’t boast a huge amount of flavour of their own, you can treat them as a blank canvas and whip up a tasty and affordable pesto dinner in minutes.

There is one particular pairing that we think trumps all others, though, and that's pesto with mussels. For us, it's the ultimate culinary example of when the results prove to be worth more than the sum of their parts.

We won't always add a dollop of pesto to our moules mariniere cooking liquor before serving with French fries and chilled Pinot Grigio, but it is a powerful weapon in our fish-cooking repertoire.