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Yellowtail Flounder Pesto

At the Harvester’s Kitchen we adore the burst of both flavor and vibrant color that pesto imparts to delicately baked fish. So we’ve provided a version within this recipe. In our gardens It’s time to harvest basil to craft some pesto, and it's an especially delightful accompaniment for baked fish.

Yellowtail flounder is a versatile fish and can be prepared in various ways, such as baked with herbs and lemon, pan-fried with a light batter, or broiled with a simple seasoning.It is often featured in seafood dishes, providing a delicate and slightly sweet flavor. Its distinctive features, excellent taste, and culinary versatility make it a popular fish of seafood enthusiasts.

Virtually any type of fish will suffice. Fluke or flounder is an excellent choice. If you decide to use pollack or hake increase the cooking time accordingly.

This homemade lemon-basil pesto recipe is not only delectable but also free from dairy. The addition of lemon not only prevents the basil from discoloring but also elevates the overall flavor profile.


For the yellowtail flounder

  • 1 lb. yellowtail flounder

  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil

  • juice from half a large lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)

  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • a few generous pinches of black pepper

  • Additional lemon wedges, for serving

For the pesto

  • 2 packed cups fresh basil leaves

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

  • Zest from 1 large lemon

  • Juice from half a large lemon (about 2 Tablespoons)

  • 1/2 garlic clove, smashed

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/3 cup olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

First zest the lemon and place the zest in the work bowl of a food processor. Cut the lemon in half.

Grab a glass baking dish (8 or 9-inch square) and squeeze in the juice from one lemon half. Add the oil, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Whisk with a fork to blend. Add the cod to the baking dish and turn several times to coat. Let it stand for 15 minutes.

In the work bowl of a food processor, add the lemon zest and the juice from the other lemon half. Add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper. Process until finely chopped. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Process until thoroughly combined.

Place about 2 tablespoons of pesto on each fillet. Cover and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork or is at an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Serve with additional pesto and lemon wedges.

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