Pesto Topped Cod with Broccoli and Tomatoes

Pesto Topped Cod with Broccoli and Tomatoes

I cooked this dish from a delicious looking picture that I saw on the BBC Good Food website which had a layer of broccoli and tomatoes underneath cod topped with pesto breadcrumbs. I read the ingredients list which is nice and short but I didn't look at the method and I found out later that the broccoli is supposed to be blanched. Instead I'd chopped the broccoli into tiny florets and pre-baked it in the oven with tomatoes. I prefer this method as it's a bit quicker and saves on washing up. I only thought to try this because I'd previously used an Indian recipe which involved roasting dry cauliflower with spices and that turned out really well. 

One tub of pesto makes twice the amount of breadcrumbs needed so I put half in the freezer to use later, which makes cooking this dish a second time around even easier.

Cod or any white fish works well but salmon is also good. Boneless and skinless fish simplifies the cooking but if your fish does come with the skin on then place it skin-side down in a dry frying pan for a minute or so, then slide a knife under the skin and it should peel away easily.

Although this dish takes under an hour to cook in total, it's pretty effortless and doesn't need much supervision so it's a nice one to cook during the week.


Serves: 2


  • medium sized head broccoli
  • 1 can cherry tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes)
  • 2 fillets skinless, boneless cod
  • 1 tub fresh pesto
  • 2 slices wholemeal bread
  • salt and pepper

You will need

  • A food processor or blender for making breadcrumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Chop the broccoli into small florets, about 2cm across, and place into a baking dish (I use a 27cm oval pie dish). If the florets are large then they'll take longer to cook.
  3. Empty the can of tomatoes over the broccoli and give everything a good stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
  5. While the broccoli is cooking put the bread into the food processor and process it until you have chunky crumbs. Tip the crumbs into a large bowl and mix with the tub of pesto. Divide the pesto mixture in two and freeze one half to use at a later date.
  6. Once the broccoli has baked for 20 minutes remove the dish from the oven and place the fish on top. Cover with the pesto breadcrumbs and return to the oven for another 18-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
  7. Serve straight away with chips or garlicky cannellini beans.

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