Pan-Seared Haddock with Arugula Pesto

Doug and Jennifer Ramler are the owners of the popular Cape Sea Grille in Harwich Port, Massachusetts, and when it comes to serving creative fish dishes based on locally caught species, they’re the tops! That’s why we asked them to come up with a recipe that could be applied to many types of New England species, from haddock and cod to sea bass and fluke.

Try it this season after a successful day on the water. You won’t be disappointed!




4, 7 oz. haddock fillets, skinned

4 oz. arugula

1 oz. hazelnuts, toasted

1 oz. almonds, toasted

1 oz. pine nuts, toasted

2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced

1 whole lemon, juiced

salt and pepper

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lb. fingerling potatoes

¾ lb. snap peas, washed, trimmed, and sliced on bias

½ tsp. fresh thyme, minced

½ tsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, minced

1/3  cup white wine

2 tblsp. unsalted butter


Cooking Directions:

Rinse potatoes under cold water and place in small saucepan. Submerge in cold water (about 1” above) and sprinkle with salt. Bring water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until knife-tender then chill in fridge.

To make pesto, place arugula, nuts (all), ½ garlic, ½ lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a food processor and start the machine. Slowly add olive oil until loose paste is formed then season with salt and pepper.

To sear fish, heat large sauté pan on high and preheat oven to broil. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Pour small amount of olive oil in pan and wait for it to smoke. Gently place fish in pan skin-side up. Allow fish to turn golden brown then flip and remove from heat. Spread thick layer of pesto on each fillet and place on middle rack of oven for five minutes or until fish begins to flake.

Heat another sauté pan and add small amount of olive oil. Slice potatoes in half, length-wise, and season with salt and pepper. When oil starts to smoke, add potatoes and sear until golden brown. Add peas to sauté pan and toss with potatoes for one minute. Season with salt and pepper and touch of parsley.

Remove fish from oven and place each fillet on separate plate. Add white wine (preferably what you are drinking with the meal) to fish pan and turn on high heat. Allow to bubble and add butter, thyme, parsley, a touch of lemon juice, and season. Divide onto each plate in front of fish.