What's The Best Seafood To Pair With Pesto?

Salmon on ice

Short answer
Any seafood can be paired with pesto, but it's with the cheaper fish where the biggest gains are to be had.

Long answer
Our two favourite foods in the whole world are pesto and lobster, which must mean that pairing the two is going to create something amazing, right? Well, it's not that simple. You see, lobster is such a special treat that when we're dropping £50/kg on the finest creature in the ocean, we want to taste it in its full, unadulterated glory.

Adding a dollop of pesto to a traditional lobster thermidor recipe works very nicely, and we've achieved some pretty good results pairing pesto with mussels, scallops, and tuna. Generally, though, we tend to reach for pesto when we find ourselves with more affordable seafood like mackerel and salmon or white fish like pollock, basa, or whiting that, bless them, don’t boast masses of flavour by themselves.

Depending on the seafood in question, we use pesto in slightly different ways. For flash-frying prawns as part of a stir-fry, we simply add a little pesto to the wok for the final seconds of cooking. For whole fish, mackerel and bream in particular, we like mixing 2 parts pesto with 1 part butter and stuffing the fish generously before putting it on the BBQ.

For whole fillets of salmon, we strongly advocate mixing pesto with breadcrumbs, grated hard cheese, and lemon zest and grilling until the fish is cooked through and the top is bubbling and crispy. It makes for an impressive dinner party centrepiece but is equally at home being served as a cold salad among friends on a lazy Sunday.