Moroccan Pesto Rockfish With Clam and Chorizo Sauce

"This recipe is by Tamara Murphy of Seattle's Brasa Restaurant, via John Shields. Ms. Murphy says to be authentic, you should prepare the pesto in the Moroccan way, by pounding the ingredients in a mortar with a pestle. Food processor instructions are included for the modern cooks. Red snapper is also great in this recipe."
photo by Maito photo by Maito
photo by Maito
Ready In:
2hrs 30mins




  • For the Pesto:

  • Mortar and Pestle Method:

  • Place the parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, and salt in a large mortar with a little of the olive oil and pound into a paste with a pestle. Add the remaining olive oil. Slather mixture on the fish and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
  • Food Processor Method:

  • Place the parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture forms a paste. Add remainder of olive oil, a tablespoon or so at a time, and pulse to mix well. Slather on the fish and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
  • For the Sauce:

  • In a large pot or saute pan, heat olive oil. Add shallots and garlic and cook on low heat for 1 minute. Add sausage and cook through. Add tomatoes, clams, and wine. Cook until clams open. (Discard any that don't open.) Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • For the fish:

  • Heat a scant 1/4 inch of good olive oil in a large saute pan. Remove the rockfish fillets from the refrigerator and saute approximately 4-5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillet (Fish should be cooked through until opaque and flaky for best flavor).
  • To serve, place the cooked fillets on a platter, and place the clams around them. Spoon the sauce over the fish and garnish with green onion slivers.
  • Note: To toast cumin seeds, heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread seeds on a baking sheet and cook until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes.

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  1. Both the Moroccan Pesto and Clam/Chorizo sauce were amazing and complimented each other really well. this could be done with a variety of seafood or even chicken. Great and unique flavors.
  2. Wow! What a delicious dish! We loved the combination of flavors and the spiciness of the chorizo. It's not as complicated as it might look. I used a lower fat chicken chorizo, and only a teaspoon of oil each in the pesto and to cook the fish (and no oil in the clams since the chorizo gives off oil). That brought this dish down to 20 grams of fat per person. This has a definite Spanish influenced flavor and tastes very rich. I added a little brown rice into the sauce and it was great like that too!


<p>I have always loved to cook. When I was little, I cooked with my Grandmother who had endless patience and extraordinary skill as a baker. And I cooked with my Mother, who had a set repertoire, but taught me many basics. Then I spent a summer with a French cousin who opened up a whole new world of cooking. And I grew up in New York City, which meant that I was surrounded by all varieties of wonderful food, from great bagels and white fish to all the wonders of Chinatown and Little Italy, from German to Spanish to Mexican to Puerto Rican to Cuban, not to mention Cuban-Chinese. And my parents loved good food, so I grew up eating things like roasted peppers, anchovies, cheeses, charcuterie, as well as burgers and the like. In my own cooking I try to use organics as much as possible; I never use canned soup or cake mix and, other than a cheese steak if I'm in Philly or pizza by the slice in New York, I don't eat fast food. So, while I think I eat and cook just about everything, I do have friends who think I'm picky--just because the only thing I've ever had from McDonald's is a diet Coke (and maybe a frie or two). I have collected literally hundreds of recipes, clipped from the Times or magazines, copied down from friends, cajoled out of restaurant chefs. Little by little, I am pulling out the ones I've made and loved and posting them here. Maybe someday, every drawer in my apartment won't crammed with recipes. (Of course, I'll always have those shelves crammed with cookbooks.) I'm still amazed and delighted by the friendliness and the incredible knowledge of the people here. 'Zaar has been a wonderful discovery for me.</p>
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