My culinary sensors are set to detect foods that manage to be both sumptuously delicious and healthful, and they were pinging like crazy when I tried this dish at Gennaro, a homey Italian restaurant in New York.
After relishing every bite of mine, I knew I had to create a version to share. In my take on the recipe, flaky white fish fillets, crisp-tender green beans and slices of potato are served immersed in a fragrant, emerald-speckled pesto broth. The dish has such a rustic elegance and lusciousness, you would never suspect it was so easy to prepare.
The fish is seasoned simply with salt and pepper and then roasted. (I used bass, but any similar fish, such as sole or snapper, would work.) Cooking the fish this way — with no flipping involved — is practically foolproof and helps ensure the fillets stay intact.
While the fish cooks, the rest of the dish is prepared in a deep skillet; garlic is toasted, white wine is reduced and chicken broth — which gives the dish a lovely, round umami flavor — is brought to a boil. (You could substitute fish stock or vegetable broth.)
Then, potato slices are simmered in the seasoned broth until they are tender, lending body to the liquid from the starch they release.
Thin green beans are added after a while, then a squeeze of lemon and, finally, a dollop of pesto is stirred in for an instant burst of defining flavor, aroma and color.
You can certainly use a homemade pesto, but store-bought works, too — just buy the kind found in the refrigerator case, which tastes fresher than the shelf-stable kind.
Serve in shallow bowls or rimmed plates with the broth and vegetables spooned over the fish. This makes it easy to enjoy a generous slurp of broth with each bite of fish. Then sop up the rest with a chunk of crusty bread.
It’s a delicious and healthful meal you’ll be glad is on your radar.