, ,

Prepare to get happy! This is my second moodbooster posting from a recipe series in February’s delicious magazine. I was going to make the stuffed pork, but I stumbled across some fresh fish and given what a rarity in my life that is these days I decided that the pan-fried trout with brocoli pesto would be the second feature.  Disclaimer I used whitefish, which is an acceptable substitute for trout.

The article just served the fish with the pesto that seemed healthy enough, but a little odd to me.  In thinking about what I could serve this with I had a mini-stroke of genius – lemon risotto! Thinking back I’m not sure I’d ever eaten lemon risotto, but it seemed like a brilliant combination and just the accompaniment to kick up the happy factor on this dish. My hopes were momentarily dashes when my Italian cooking bible The Silver Spoon didn’t have a recipe, but everyone’s favorite food blog smitten kitchen came to my rescue with this delightful posting of lemon risotto. This is an excellent recipe and is definitely on my make again list. It is really versatile, as a starter, side or main there is a lot to be said for this risotto.

Now my one issue with using UK recipes is the measurement 😦 I clearly need to invest in a scale, because trying to google and guess conversions is a little tricky. Point in case the pesto recipe –  600 grams of broccoli any clue what that is in cups? My best guess was about 2 cups. My pesto looked nothing like their photo I used way too much broccoli! BUT it was still really tasty.  I’ll post both my guesses and actually measurements for the recipe. If anyone has a conversion tip they’d like to share please do!!


  • Combine 600 g (2 cups) blanched broccoli, 55 g (1/4 cup) mixed toasted walnuts & almonds, 60 g (generous 1/4 cup) grated parmesan, 1 garlic clove crushed, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 2 tbsp lemon juice, lemon zest, and 130 ml olive oil in a food processor and pulse till a paste forms, set a side.


Hope you don’t have to debone your fish like I did, which lead to a rant to T. that I need proper knives… “Yes Dear”

  • Coat the fish (one fillet per person) in seasoned flour. I seasoned the flour with a tarragon-shallot blend from Silk Road Spice Merchant that consists of: shallots, parsley, lemon peel, black pepper, tarragon, garlic. 
  • Add butter to your fry pan over med-high heat, once heated add fish and fry each side 2-3 minutes.

I served in low bowls, with the risotto on the bottom, followed by the fish and topped with the pesto. Look how delicious…


If you wanted to make this during the week, and didn’t feel like making a risotto, brown rice would work well too. I really think you do need something beside the pesto.

What are the happy ingredients? Broccoli has folic acid and B vitamins that help produce brain chemicals that affect mood. Walnuts are apparently brain food excellent source of omega 3 fats that help your brain work happy. Same with the fish is it rich in omega 3 fats. The parmesan helps produce serotonin or according to delicious nature’s prozac!

It definitely did lift our moods! Well for T. it may have been the Top Gear Christmas Special that finally aired last night, but for me my main happy ingredient is how much T. enjoyed our dinner 🙂

Still to come for moodbooster meals is a stuffed pork roast, ragu and pasta, and a risotto.

Happy Monday Everyone!!