Monday, 1 November 2010

Pesto Crusted Fillets


I tried this recipe over the weekend as a light tea, again we were pretty impressed with how it jazzed up the sometimes dull fillets. The texture of these was lovely and we really enjoyed them, they went very well with a salad but would work equally well with pasta or a more traditional accompaniment. 

My one downer on this recipe is the inescapable mess that it makes due to the difficultly of sprinkling both breadcrumbs and parmesan on top of the fillets on a baking tray, this is what mine looked like as they were about to go in the oven:

Fortunately, I took the decision to just leave the mess on the tray and sort it out later - this proved a good call as actually the breadcrumbs on the tray went lovely and crispy and mixed with the cheese were pretty tasty sprinkled over the salad and fillets once they were on the plate.

I did follow the recipe to the letter and used ciabatta breadcrumbs, as I didn't want to waste a whole loaf of ciabatta I picked up a small loose individual ciabatta roll from Sainsburys which was pretty convenient and still made more than the 40g I needed.

Astoundingly, I had never actually made breadcrumbs before (one of a number of skills I am picking up from making all these recipes!), I literally just left the ciabatta to go stale for 3 days and then dropped it in the food processor and let it do the hard work, easy, even sized breadcrumbs in less than a minute! I have frozen the majority which were excess to requirements as Nigella informs me they work perfectly well either used from frozen or defrosted first.

I must admit I was a little cautious about this recipe as neither my husband or I am massive fans of pesto flavours, however, because the pesto is not overwhelming and is literally brushed onto the fillets under the breadcrumb/cheese mix, it just lends a tasty, subtle flavour to the quorn. The basil is about the only bit of the pesto that you can taste.

We loved the way the texture of the topping was so crunchy and well combined. The recipe states you can either use italian hard cheese or normal cheddar, I used some parmesan and felt that this suited the recipe really well as it was light but full of flavour, cheddar, I think, may have gone soggy and matted over the breadcrumbs - but each to their own.

In terms of weight watchers points this is also a winner, 2 fillets equals 1.5 points but the breadcrumbs, pesto and cheese only add another 2 because it is very small portions of each, therefore the points value is only 3.5 (I also used reduced fat pesto so have been quite generous with the points really!). Served with a salad this is a great, healthy, low fat meal.

Here are my fillets once plated:

We give these fillets a 9/10 because we really enjoyed them and actually they were so quick and simple to make I know I will make them again. The spare portion we sliced up and used on lunch wraps the next day and these too were a success, a great recipe which shows how versatile boring old fillets can be.


  1. I love pesto so this will definitely be making an appearance in our house. Plus I have 2 bags of fillets that I've never really known what to do with. Good to hear you enjoyed yours so much.

    I'm the worlds worst WW follower (I rarely stick to my allowance - hence the pounds creeping on not off!) but I really like how you include the points value for the recipes - thanks!

    My Quorn book arrived - huzzah! Pretty impressed with it, lots of lovely stuff to try out.

  2. Glad to hear your book has arrived - enjoy! I also struggle with sticking to points allowance - but I do like the fact that I can make points back up with exercise if necessary.