Fish and Nectarine Skewers Recipe

Do you know what inspired this recipe, of all things? The TGV.

TGV, or Train à Grande Vitesse, is the pride and joy of France, a technology of high-speed trains that peaks at 300 km/h (186 mph). Last week, for my job, I rode this train to Lille (a city in the North of France) in the wee hours of the morning.

It being quite early, I had closed my eyes in the wild hope that this would somehow re-energize me and help with the feeling of having just been grabbed and thrown out of bed. I had fallen into that state of half-sleep where your thoughts wander around idly, taking rational paths then sharp turns into weirdness or fantasy, morphing little things into giant, convoluted versions of themselves, twisting reality into confusing shapes, and leading you along unexpected routes.

It is in this state of mind that, after considering project management questions for a little while, my thoughts turned to the idea for a dish, which constructed itself out of nowhere behind my closed eyelids.

A few days later, I followed the dream’s instructions, and brought these fish and nectarine skewers to life, served with herbed couscous and a nectarine chutney. They turned out to be everything I had hoped for: pretty, summery, and delicious.

Nectarines — yellow nectarines — are very high on my list of favorite fruits, and strongly associated with childhood summer vacations in the mountains, where we would buy crates of them, plump and sun-kissed, at the local market.

This was the first time I’d ever paired them with fish (or anything savory for that matter), and they turn out to be a great match. I also whipped up a chutney to serve alongside.

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Tropical Fish and Nectarine Skewers, Matching Chutney Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4.

Tropical Fish and Nectarine Skewers, Matching Chutney Recipe


  • 600 grams thick fish steaks; choose a firm-fleshed fish from a sustainable source
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil to get 24 leaves
  • 6 ripe but firm yellow nectarines, quartered and stoned
  • 1 small yellow onions, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (one for the chutney, two for the skewers)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt, pepper


    For the chutney
  1. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet.
  2. Dice 4 of the nectarines finely.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until softened.
  4. Add add the diced nectarines, balsamic vinegar, chile pepper flakes, cumin seeds and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until soft and slightly caramelized.
  5. Mash roughly with a fork, and set aside.
  6. For the skewers
  7. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) or heat up an outdoor grill.
  8. Cut the fish in 24 cubes. Cut each of the nectarine quarters in four; you'll get 32 pieces.
  9. Assemble 8 skewers, each one with three pieces of fish (F), three basil leaves (B) and four pieces of nectarine (N), along the following pattern : N-B-F-N-B-F-N-B-F-N. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  10. Arrange the skewers on a greased, rimmed baking sheet, and put into the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fish is just cooked. Alternatively, grill the skewers on your outdoor grill for a few minutes.
  11. Serve immediately, with a drizzle of lime juice and chutney on the side.

This post was first published in June 2004 and updated in July 2016.

  • Your talents never cease to amaze me! This is gorgeous…and I can taste the magnificent combination of flavors. Well done!

  • Clotilde – this is beautiful! I’m curious about the nectarine skin chips – I’ve never heard of (or thought of) this before. Is it something you dreamed up on the TGV? What are they like (crispy, chewy, sweet, tart)?

  • you and me are thinking along the same lines : fruit and fish! both words starting with the letter F! btw, love what you’ve done. it looks so delicious and tasty. now, i have to hunt high and low for nectarines! :( ah well. seriously, it looks so tasty!

  • Hi Clotilde,
    It’s such a good idea to describe how you got the inspiration.
    Do you think I could try them on a BBQ ?

  • Sarah

    mmm – another good recette and another photo that makes me want to get those molds you use for serving grains (I suppose that one could butter or oil a ramekin and have similar presentation success? do you know?).
    My main question: why is it that when I put my cursor over links on your page (Wena, for example, or the links all along the right), I get a red circle with a bar through it, international sign for “don’t go here, idiote!”? help?

  • Clotilde,

    Wonderful dish! This is something I’ll try the next time I want to use my indoor grill. Thank you for sharing! BTW, I love nectarines…

  • Eve

    These look wonderful. I’m glad to see the little paper cups are earning their keep.

  • And your dream has become a reality… Mouthwatering!

    When will be the next IMBB?

  • Deb

    Lovely lovely dish Clotilde! I too love nectarines and can eat them all day with no hardships, and now you present them to me with fish…fabulous!

  • All – Oh, I’m glad this appeals to you! It was, once again, a great pleasure to take part in IMBB!

    Cathy – Yes, this is something I thought of on the train, possibly inspired by the dried basil leaves that sometimes decorate dishes. They’re not really crispy probably because they’re so thin : they’re papery and slightly brittle, with a hint of nectarine taste. But their main purpose in life is to be pretty!

    Sarah – An oiled ramequin may work, but the big advantage of using these circles is that they’re open on both sides, allowing you to push down whatever it is you’re serving to unmold it. With a closed ramequin, you’d have only the power of the shake to count on!

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