Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6 Servings

If the Godfather lived on the bayou, this is how he’d cook his catfish. Served over salad greens, it makes a wonderful lunch or light summer meal.

Ingredients for Salad:
6 (6–8 ounce) catfish fillets
2/3 cup loosely-packed basil leaves
? cup pecans
½ cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp minced garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
mixed greens
Italian dressing

Place fillets in a single layer in an ungreased baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a food processor, combine pecans, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon minced garlic and basil leaves. Pulse 1–2 minutes or until mixture is well chopped and blended. With processor running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture resembles paste. Do not over-process or basil will darken and appear unappetizing. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Ingredients for Marinara Sauce:
12 Roma tomatoes, peeled and seeded
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps cup vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup chicken stock (see recipe)
6 large basil leaves, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a stainless steel saucepot, heat oils over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic slices in oil until very lightly browned around edges. Add tomatoes and blend well. Bring to a low simmer, stirring in chicken stock to retain moisture as needed. Cook 5–7 minutes then stir in basil. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook 5–10 minutes, adding stock as needed. Once marinara is cooked, take fish and top each fillet with 1 tablespoon of pesto. Spread evenly to cover whole fillet then top each with ¼ cup of marinara. Bake 12–15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on mixed greens as a salad topping. If desired, add a few tablespoons of Italian dressing.

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