Arctic Char with Kale Pesto

arctic char with kale pesto served with pasta

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5 from 3 reviews

Grilled Arctic char topped with kale pesto, served on a bed of pasta, makes for a tasty and healthy meal.




  • 4 cups tightly packed kale leaves, stems removed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted (pine nuts or walnuts would work, too)
  • generous pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil

For the fish

  • 12 oz Arctic char fillet
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ozs pasta to serve with the fish– we like ziti


  1. Start making kale pesto: Add the kale and garlic to a food processor, coarsely chopping to create enough room for the other ingredients.
  2. Finish the pesto: Add the pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, cheese, and olive oil, and puree until it comes to a nice smooth consistency. Set the pesto aside.
  3. Start cooking the pasta: Put water on to boil as you make kale pesto. Cook some pasta according to package directions, and toss with about 2 tablespoons of the kale pesto. Cover and keep warm on the stove while you grill the fish.
  4. Preheat a grill to 400.
  5. Prepare the fish: Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with some salt and pepper in a large bowl.Rinse the char fillet, pat dry. Place the fillet in the bowl with olive oil flesh side down, then turn over to the skin side to get the fish well coated.
  6. Start grilling the char: Gently shake off excess oil, then place the fish carefully on the grill, skin side down. Grill on the skin side for 4 minutes, then turn over to grill for 3 minutes flesh side down. Note: the skin may stick to the grill, that is OK. Just place the fish flesh side on a clean portion of the grill and remove the skin later.
  7. Finish grilling: After the char has grilled for 7 minutes total, the fish should be cooked through but still nice and moist. Remove the char from the grill and place on a large platter.
  8. Serve: Plate a portion of the pasta, topped with a scoop of the kale pesto. Spread the pesto over the fish. Repeat for the other servings, and enjoy!


  • You could substitute basil pesto for the kale pesto if you like.
  • Sometimes we pan sear the Arctic char. The process is described more in the text; but in short: heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a nonstick skillet on medium high. Cook the char skin side down for 4 minutes, then turn over to cook another 2 minutes skin side up. Turn the char over one more time and finish by cooking another 2 minutes skin side down.
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