The weekend is fast approaching and you might want to gather some friends for a nice dinner. How about just a few grilled small red mullet, stuffed with pesto and surrounded by a thin slice of crispy bacon? Red mullet is one of my favorite fish: it’s tiny and its flesh is very fine and tasty, without being too expensive.
Pesto is a french provencal sauce, very similar to italian pesto, but without adding parmesan and pine nuts. It is prepared with a crushed mix of fresh basil leaves, garlic, olive oil and coarse salt. It is very easy to do it by yourself, maybe I’ll add a more detailed recipe in the future.
The biggest challenge is to prepare the tasty fish recipe. It is essential to make the taste more pleasant. I do not like, at the table, having to dissect a fish, find edges… it spoils my fun (and my shirt)! Preparation of mullet may well be made by your fishmonger… Ask him or her with a big smile! It’s up to you then to check whether any edge have been removed.
Ingredients list: Pesto Stuffed Fish Wrapped in Bacon
- 4 medium red mullets
- 4 teaspoons pesto in a jar or homemade pesto
- 4 thin slices of smoked bacon
- 4 sprigs of rosemary or thyme
- 1 small glass dry white wine
- Olive oil
Preparation of fish
Each mullet should be scaled, gutted and headed first. Then get yourself a small sharp knife, and peel off gradually, first on one side, the flesh of the central ridge. Work gently along the edges. Repeat for second side. Then remove the central ridge and get the two fillets attached by the back (a bit like an open book).
For quantities: they depend on the size of your mullets. It normally takes a mullet per person. I give you the proportions for 4…
Lay your red mullet fillets on your desktop. Spread on each of them a spoonful of pesto sauce. Close your fishes ( sounds good, isn’t it?). Surround them with a thin slice of bacon. Place the fish in an oiled oven dish (All that part of the preparation can be made in advance). Pour the white wine in the bottom. Place each fish on a small branch of rosemary or thyme. Bake in a preheated oven at 390°F (200°c) for 15 minutes. You can also cook your fish on the barbecue or griddle, as long as you monitor the cooking temperature (embers shouldn’t be too hot).
Nothing beats a good wine accompaniment: a white coast of Provence, a Pouilly Fumé or a Saint Veran.
This recipe was inspired by Dominique