Cod Fillet over Pesto Risotto

Tender cod fillets are gently coated with flour, then dipped into an egg wash and lightly fried until golden brown; served over a layer of creamy pesto risotto makes an amazing seafood dish!  Risotto made with fresh pesto sauce is not traditional, but it adds a subtle richness and extra flavor that compliments the cod fish in this dish.  Making a perfect pair!

We love taking recipes and jazzing them up a bit.

Since pesto sauce can be made in advance (or store bought) helps make this dish easier than it looks.  But fresh pesto is always best tasting, because it's made with fresh garlic, fresh basil, extra-virgin olive oil, and parmigiano cheese, which gives a lot of flavor and creaminess to the risotto.

Cod fish is a boneless fish that has a white meaty texture to it, and it's not expensive. It cooks up quickly and it doesn't have a fishy taste to it.

Placing a fried cod fillet over a layer of creamy risotto made with pesto sauce not only looks appealing, but its textures combined will definitely convert any cod fish haters.  Take our word for it, the flavors infused in every bite are out of this world!

My family loved this dish- even my picky eater enjoyed it.

Also, if you plan ahead, this dish can be very easy to make.  Simply because risotto can be made in advance, and cod fillets cook up practically in minutes.  If you make risotto the night before, you can reheat it and add in the pesto sauce at the last minute, then fry the cod fillets just before serving.

When making this dish, make sure you make extra!  Especially if you have family members (like I do) that really like to eat "abbondanza" -which means eat plenty, in abundance.  Enjoy! 

Basil Pesto Risotto

  • 1 small onion- chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves-diced
  • 1 cup Superfino Arborio Extra rice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 + 1/2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1 Tbsp. fresh Basil Pesto Sauce

In a 3 or 4-quart sauce pot, heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes, until they are translucent.
Add the rice and butter, and sauté for 1 minute.

Pour wine and simmer on low heat.
Stirring occasionally, until the wine is completely absorbed.

In the meantime, in a small pot, heat water and broth together.  Once the wine has been absorbed, add 2 ladles of the heated liquid to the rice.  Simmer and stir occasionally, until liquid has been absorbed.  Add the remaining liquid to the rice.  Continue until all the liquid has been absorbed. About 20 minutes.

Taste the rice.  Rice should be soft with a creamy texture.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off heat.
Finally, stir in the basil pesto sauce to the risotto. Cover and set aside.
Keep warm until ready to serve.

Lightly Fried Cod Fish Fillets
  • 1 pound fresh Cod fillets (about four 2-inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs- lightly beaten                                                          
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil, for frying
Place flour into a dish.
In a second plate, add beaten eggs.
Lightly season the Cod fillets with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a medium size frying skillet.

Dip each cod fillet into the flour first, coating all sides.
Then dip into the egg wash, until well coated.
When oil is hot, gently place each fillet into the skillet and fry the cod until fish cooks, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels.
Divide the pesto risotto among 4 serving plates.
Lay one cod fillet on top of the risotto in each plate.
Serve immediately.

Serves 4
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  1. Wow! wonderful healthy and filling dish. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello Nandoos Kitchen and welcome to our site! It's so nice to meet you! And thank you for leaving a lovely comment. Have a great weekend!

  2. The pesto is such a lovely addition to the risotto mix! How have I never thought to do that before?!

    1. Thanks Joanne, I wanted to try the two together and didn't know if it would work, but when it did, I had to make it again the following week just so I can get the photos and the exact measurements. Thanks again.

  3. The cod looks so delicious nestled in your lovely risotto. This is a dish I'd love to try!

    1. Thanks Sue, I hope you do, my family loves the combination, it was a real surprise.

  4. Living her in New England, fresh cod fish is always available in the markets. I can't wait to try this combination…it sounds very good.

    1. Thanks Karen, we just started eating cod ourselves and we are now hooked! Enjoy!

  5. What a beautiful and delicious twist on Cod (of all things!!) We love the risotto pairing with this but the pesto component brings it to an entirely new level of creativeness and of course, taste. Very nicely done!

    1. Thanks Dan, and thank you for the lovely comment - the pesto component compliments the cod in every way. We love it - enjoy!

  6. Pesto in risotto is brilliant! That fish looks wonderful - so light and fresh. I could go for some good fish right now. Hope you are both doing great!

    1. We love pesto in risotto, and make this dish often. I hope we get to post another recipe some time next week. Have a great weekend Tricia!

  7. Nothing like a good risotto, especially to go with that great cod!

    1. Thank you Abbe! Hope you get to try this recipe soon! Have a great day!

  8. I could eat fish like this every night- it looks so good, especially with the pesto risotto. Comfort food. :)

  9. Such a gorgeous and succulent dish! Now, you've got me craving for risotto and cod fillet! :P

    1. Your kids will love this Amy! I hope you 'll try it soon. Thanks for stopping by! Xo Anna


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