I have a problem. Whenever I come up with a recipe that's really truly both easy and delicious, I tend to make it again and again...over and over! This is my latest obsession. Pistachio & Sundried Tomato Encrusted Arctic Char. This recipe allows for a crunchy and flavorful fish- the salty pistachios really compliment the rich sundried tomatoes, but the flavor of the fish is not over-powered. It is light and perfect to serve this time of year. I serve it at room temperature, though it is delicious warmed up as well. Instead of using individual fillet portions, I use one long piece of fish that I cut into individual portions before serving. This makes it super easy and super beautiful to serve. Best of all, it takes so little time to prepare. In fact, I triple the topping recipe and store the extra in the fridge so I have it on hand- allowing me to whip it together in minutes- I swear! (Topping can keep refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.) And, if Arctic char is not available, or if you're not a fan, this recipe can be made on any thick fleshed fish, such as salmon, halibut, or sea bass. (Basically, you will need a fish that is thick and does not break up easily while cooking.) This recipe also makes a wonderful addition to your brunch menu.
Here it goes:
Pistchio & Sundried Tomato Encrusted Arctic Char
1- 2 pound piece Arctic char, skin removed
1 cup shelled, salted pistachios
1/4 cup fresh basil, parsley or cilantro leaves(your choice, or whatever you have in the fridge)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained (reserve the oil)
3 tablespoons reserved oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes
3 tablespoons cornflake crumbs
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 375. Place the pistachios, herbs, sundried tomatoes, and oil in a food processor. Process until the pistachios are chopped into tiny pieces, and the tomatoes are mushed up. Add the cornflake crumbs and pepper and combine with a few quick on-off pulses. The mixture should be crumbly and sticky. If it is not sticking together, add another tablespoon of oil. Taste the mixture...if you love garlic, now would be a great time to throw a garlic clove into the food processor and add it to the crumb mixture. Same thing with chili pepper flakes, if you like the heat. Brush the Dijon mustard over the top of the fish. Using your fingers, press the crumb topping into the top of the fish in a single layer. Use up all of the topping. Place the fish on the center rack in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and devour! This fish can be made a day or two in advance and reheated on low. Goes perfectly with a crisp green salad.
Place pistachios, tomatoes, and herbs in the food processor
Add the cornflake crumbs
(My taste-tester always samples the pistachios first!)
Here's what the crumb topping should look like
Press the topping into the top of the fish & bake