One of the many great things to look forward to summer at the cottage is the availability of fresh caught local fish options. Fresh caught Pickerel is always a special treat we try to take advantage of while at the cottage – or in cottage mode – and this pan-fried Pickerel with tomato relish recipe does not disappoint.
I usually use skinless fillets but you could also use skin-on fillets and cook the skin side first. This recipe comes together really quickly as the fish cooks quite fast. I usually prep the relish first as it takes a bit longer and then keep the relish warm, and then prep the fish to pan fry. In the summer (and winter) I always cook pan-fried fish outside on the side burner of the bbq to keep the fish smell out of the house, and always use a cast iron pan as it just seems to crisp the fish fillets up perfectly.
This pairs very nicely with some fresh new potatoes from the local market. You could also use this tomato relish with any white fish as it is really savoury and slightly sweet and adds a nice boost to any mild fish. I try to always use really ripe cherry tomatoes and a really good quality balsamic vinegar to ensure it has a natural sweetness without adding sugar.
A great treat for cottage friends!
Pickerel with Tomato Relish
- 4 pickerel fillets can you skinless or with skin.
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 finely chopped shallot could substitute for white onion
- 1 or 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp sliced black olives
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp finely chopped basil
- freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
Cooking the Pickerel Fillets
- Rinse pickerel fillets and pat dry and set on a plate. Salt and pepper both sides generously and set aside.
- Add olive oil to cast iron pan and bring to medium high heat.
- Place fillets in pan, If using fillets with skin, cook the skin side first and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip and continue cooking on other side for about another 3 minutes or until fish is white and no longer transparent. Remove from pan and place on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Add oil olive to fry pan and bring to medium heat.
- Add finely chopped shallot and garlic and toss in to fry pan to bring to medium heat until slightly transparent.
- Toss in the chopped tomatoes, capers, olives, vinegar and basil to pan and stir. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt. Gently stir until softened and then set aside.
- To serve place a dollop of tomato relish on each plate and the top with the fish fillet. Top with an additional spoonful of relish to serve.
- You can use skinless or fillets with skin. Just make sure when cooking that you start with the skin side down
- This recipe uses cherry tomatoes but can substitute for other fresh tomatoes