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!
Pan-Fried Pickerel with Tomato Relish
- 4 pickerel fillets or other white fish
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots
- 1 or 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp sliced black or green olives
- 1 tsp finely chopped basil
- freshly ground pepper to taste
Making the Tomato Relish
- Add oil olive to fry pan and bring to medium heat.
- Add finely chopped shallot and garlic and cook until slightly transparent. Add in balsamic vinegar and stir.
- Toss in the chopped tomatoes, capers, olives and basil to pan and gently simmer the mixture to allow the flavours to blend. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.
Cooking the Pickerel Fillets
- Rinse pickerel fillets and pat dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper both sides generously and set aside.
- Add olive oil to a cast iron pan and bring to medium-high heat.
- Place fillets in the pan and cook for about 4 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and continue cooking on the other side for about another 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish is white and no longer transparent.
- Place a dollop of tomato relish on each plate and then top with the fish fillet. Top with an additional spoonful of relish to serve. Enjoy!