This grilled barramundi is an easy summer recipe. With fresh spring radishes and a tasty, peppery radish top pesto.
This post is sponsored by my friends at Australis Barramundi.
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There are so many happy/summery/sustainable food-y/tasty things happening here today that I allllllmost can’t even handle it.
First, it’s finally GRILLING SEASON, which means YAY.
Third, we’re getting EXTRA sustainably-minded today and using an ingredient that generally ends up in the trash can: Radish tops!
If you’ve never cooked with radish tops, you’re missing out. But don’t worry, because we’re using a whooooole bunch of radishes root-to-tip in this recipe.
The radishes themselves get grilled up with some thyme and olive oil ( <— also hi, hello, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT HOW AMAZING THESE ARE). Then we toss the leafy tops into a food processor (this one is my favorite!) with a bit of garlic, cheese, and oil, and BAM! A tasty, slightly mellow, slightly peppery, food-waste-reducing pesto sauce for our grilled barramundi.
Is your heart full of summery, vegetable-y, sustainable food-y joy yet? Because this fish is filling me with ALL OF THE JOY.
Which you’ve probably already picked up on. Because of the can’t-stop-won’t-stop with the ALL CAPS VOICE.
Sorry. But also, NOT SORRY.
Also, can I take a second to obsess over this barramundi? Australis is a pioneer in the sustainable aquaculture movement, with a Best Choice designation from Seafood Watch and a ton of sustainability collaborations under their belt, but also? Barramundi is REALLY, REALLY GOOD.
I love that this fish is sturdy enough to grill and meaty enough to hold up to heavy, rich sauces – but I also love that it doesn’t necessarily need to be covered in STUFF. Sometimes it’s nice to just let the fish shine on its own, you know?
This particular grilled fish has just olive oil and good ol’ salt and pepper – and it’s amazing even without the radish top pesto (although, let’s be real: you’re going to want this radish top pesto).
And, okay, this recipe might look a little complicated at first, with all this talk of “grilling” and “pesto” and “more grilling.”
But really, TRULY, all it takes is this: BARRAMUNDI + RADISHES.
Sure, we’re throwing in some staples like salt and pepper and olive oil, but overall, this recipe is sooooo deceptively simple. You can have the whole thing on the table in 30 minutes or less, and the recipe below even has a special “prep” section at the beginning to help you marinate the radishes and make the pesto ahead of time.
Make this for a speedy, summery weeknight dinner, or bust it out at a BBQ to impress your neighbors (<– recommended). Add some extra grilled veggies for a heartier meal and serve with your favorite summer sides like lightened-up potato salad (or, y’know, whiskey lemonade. #YOLO).
Grilled Barramundi with Grilled Radishes and Radish top pesto
This easy grilled fish recipe is perfect for summertime! Served with grilled radishes and an easy radish top pesto.
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
FOR THE GRILLED RADISHES:
- 1 large bunch radishes (with leaves still attached)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE RADISH PESTO:
- 2-3 packed cups Radish leaves (from your bunch of radishes!)
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
FOR THE BARRAMUNDI:
- 12 oz. barramundi fillets
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large lemon, sliced into wedges
- PREP THE RADISHES. Wash radishes well to remove any grit, and then cut the leaves away from the radishes themselves. I like to leave a bit of stem on each radish to make them easier to move around on the grill.
- Slice the radishes in half lengthwise (the flat surface will help them stay put on the grill).
- DRESS THE RADISHES. Add sliced radishes to a medium bowl. Strip the leaves from two sprigs of thyme and add the leaves to the radishes. Add 1 tsp. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Give the radishes a toss to coat them evenly in the dressing and set aside.
- MAKE THE PESTO. Transfer radish leaves to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add lemon juice, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Add olive oil one tablespoon at a time, pulsing well in between each addition, until pesto has reached your desired consistency. Depending on the amount of radish greens you have, you may not need all the oil, or you may need a little more. Set pesto aside.
- PREP THE BARRAMUNDI. Pat barramundi down with a tea towel or paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Brush each side of the fish with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat grill pan over medium-high heat until it’s piping hot (you could also use your outdoor grill). Use a pastry brush to brush olive oil over the grill (you could also use tongs and a towel). Watch Australis’ “How to Grill Fish” video for a step-by-step demo!
- Place radishes on the hot grill. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes, then use tongs to flip them over and cook 3-4 minutes more until you have nice char marks on each side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Brush another layer of olive oil over the grill to prevent sticking. Lay barramundi down on grill and cook approximately 3 minutes until the edges have started to turn bright white. (Not sure what this should look like? Watch this video for a step-by-step!)
- Use a thin spatula to gently flip the barramundi over on the grill. Let cook another 3 minutes or so until barramundi is cooked through.
- Serve grilled barramundi with grilled radishes and top with a scoop of radish pesto.
- Serve with lemon wedges and give each piece of fish a nice squeeze of lemon juice to finish the dish.
Use your outdoor grill, an indoor grill pan, or even just a large cast iron skillet for this recipe.
If you have a larger outdoor grill, you can grill the fish and the radishes all at once! If you have a smaller grill or grill pan, it’s easier to cook in batches as described in the instructions.
You can prep the radishes and radish pesto ahead of time – just store dressed radishes and pesto in airtight containers in the fridge until you’re ready to use them!
You’ll probably have some extra pesto – save it for salad dressings, sauces, pasta, or more barramundi! Pesto will last a week in an airtight container in the fridge, or you can freeze it for later.
If you have to grill your fish in batches, make sure to oil the grill or grill pan in between each batch to prevent sticking.
Radish top pesto will vary depending on the amount of radish leaves you have – you may need to add seasoning or adjust the amount of olive oil. Taste the pesto after you blend it and add salt, pepper, olive oil, or lemon juice as necessary!
EQUIPMENT: I love my 14 cup Food Processor – it makes quick work of this pesto and is one of my most-used appliances. Use a sturdy cast iron grill pan for the barramundi – this one is simple and inexpensive, or you can spring for a sleek enameled version.