Cilantro Pesto Fish Tacos w/Zucchini Corn Salsa
I know what you’re thinking: the fish in this picture are GREEN! Why yes, they are. A vibrant, beautiful green because the fish fillets are rubbed in an oh-so-green Cilantro Almond pesto, then baked with extra nuts and cheese and some fresh cherry tomatoes on top, roasted to juicy perfection.
The fish on its own is a cilantro and fish lover’s dream. I ate the fish alone for several lunches with just a chopped up cucumber or zucchini on the side. But then I thought to serve it on corn tortillas, topped with a roasted zucchini corn salsa … oh yum!
I have been struggling with freezer space this summer. It seems like every time I turn around, there is something more I want to freeze and no room to fit it in. My sister had given me two good-size freezer bags stuffed with fresh-caught fish from their lake and they were getting in the way. I needed to use up in order to make space for freezing more delights. I didn’t have much time or energy left that day and I don’t recall what exactly I was freezing, but I decided the package of fish needed using, so in a flash of inspiration, I grabbed the cilantro almond pesto from the freezer, rubbed it all over the fish, topped with some chopped almonds and a bit of shredded cheese and baked it. A few minutes later I had a big pan-full of some really delicious fish.
The zucchini salsa was an after-thought, something I remembered from the first time I served my parents fish tacos, when I made this pan-fried melange of zucchini, tomato, onion, garlic and peppers, all fresh from the garden, to top our tacos. I had lived in California for a while where fish tacos are abundant, so this was nothing new to me, but Mom and dad had never had fish tacos before and my dad later admitted to me he was a little reluctant to try them. I’m so glad he didn’t say that out loud at the time, because they loved them fish tacos–and have now made fish tacos themselves on occasion. On that evening so many years ago, I was using leftover fried fish, but this time, I used my bright green baked cilantro pesto fish and yes, in my humble opinion, these fish tacos were even better. … and healthier too!
- White fish fillets (fresh or frozen, thawed)
- Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoning/salt mix) & fresh ground pepper
- Cilantro Almond Pesto (recipe here)
- Chopped almonds
- Shredded cheese
- 1 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 - 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups chopped fresh zucchini
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 small sweet peppers, cored & chopped
- 1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, cored & chopped
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 - 1 cup fresh garden cherry tomato or other small tomato, halved or quartered
- 3/4 cup cooked corn (or frozen, thawed)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- Several cilantro leaves
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Shredded cheese, if desired
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a large and a small baking sheet with cooking spray.
- To make the roasted zucchini and corn salsa:
- In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the garlic. Set aside while you prep the other ingredients. Let the garlic bathe in the oil for at least 15 minutes to let the garlic infuse into the oil.
- In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the zucchini, onion, peppers and salt. Pour the garlic oil over top and stir to mix. Pour the zucchini mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir, then roast for 10 minutes longer or until the zucchini is nice and tender. Pour the tomatoes onto the pan, stir gently, and roast another 5 minutes or so.
- Pour the roasted veggies back into the bowl and toss with the corn, cumin, and cilantro. Add salt to taste.
- To make the fish: Sprinkle the fish on both sides with Red Robin Seasoning and fresh ground pepper. Rub cilantro almond pesto on both sides. Set in baking dish and sprinkle with some chopped almonds and shredded Italian or Mexican cheese. Bake at 400 F. for 5 - 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) or just until the fish flakes when pierced with a fork.
- To make the tacos, warm the tortillas in a tortilla warmer, in the microwave or in a skillet brushed with a little cooking oil. (If using corn tortillas, use 2 tortillas per taco.) Add fish down the center with some of the roasted tomatoes, then top with the roasted zucchini salsa, cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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