I am a seafood purist. I still think there is nothing better than a good fillet of salmon with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Zesty basil sauce, however, is one of my favorites ways to spruce up a boring piece of fish. I use this for Mahi Mahi as well most other white fish like tilapia and flounder.
The recipe is from Paula Deen but I’m pretty sure I started making this sauce prior to her demise…but I’m not certain. So, this may be a politically incorrect fish, BUT in a whole new way.
I mean, it could make good dinner conversation, right? Tell your guests their eating fish that is so politically incorrect and when they ask if the fish was farmed or caught in a nasty way, you can shock them by saying it’s a Paula Deen recipe. Then, watch your guests squirm uncomfortably as every good dinner party host would do. KIDDING!
In all seriousness, I don’t care who created this sauce because it’s really freaking delicious. Lemon, garlic, basil, and butter–that’s it! All my favorite things in one pot. It’s quick too. Once you start smelling the basil and garlic cooking away, you only have to wait until the fish is done, about 6 minutes, for chow time!
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Mahi mahi fillets
For the sauce, combine the butter, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and basil in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring until the butter melts. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
For the fish, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the fish for 3 minutes; then turn and cook until just opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the fillets to individual plates.
Spoon the warm basil butter over the fish and serve.