Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fish “Braid” with Red and Green Pesto

As I was once looking through a cooking magazine, I got mesmerized by a photo of a very spectacular dish – a three-coloured fish “braid”. I desperately wanted to have an opportunity to enjoy the look of it on my plate at home but I had a few obstacles to overcome. First, the recipe called for using salmon, halibut and zander and since not all of these types are available here it meant that I would have to go to a market in search of three fish with different shades of a flesh. That didn’t seem like a very big problem. But had I found all the types, I would instantly have faced the second – more insurmountable – problem: I would have had to fillet it! Let me make a confession here: being not ultimately perfect at knife work (I guess I need a good course of it under a strict and uncompromising supervision) I’m especially not very good at filleting a fish (the word “massacring” seems more appropriate here).

So, I was obsessed with the idea of cooking this dish for a while but I had to figure it out how to get the same spectacular result (as on that picture from the magazine) but in a more suitable for me way. Eventually I got the solution – I decided to “colour” a plain white fish with green and red pesto. To say true, I generally love fish baked with pesto and it has always been a no-fuss-yet-delicious dinner option in our house, so I knew that the flavours of the dish would be awesome. And they really were! And, most importantly, it was a great pleasure not only for the palate but for the eyes as well!


3 basa fish fillet 
½ cup green pesto sauce
½ cup red pesto sauce
¼ cup olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste



  1. Cut each fillet into 4 long strips. In separate bowls, marinate 4 strips in green pesto, 4 strips in red pesto and 4 strips in a mixture of olive oil, salt and black pepper. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Using three strips of different colours, make a braid, secure the ends of it with toothpicks and transfer to the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining strips to make three more braids. Bake, covered, for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the toothpicks and transfer to the plate.


  1. While twisting the strips to form a braid try not to smudge them. If you get red and green stains on your white strips, use small brush and some water to clean it.
  2. The original recipe suggested frying the “braids” but there was a warning that it might be tricky to flip them without damaging. If you are nimble enough for the task – go for it!

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