Friday, June 12, 2009

Cod Provencal


  • 2 cod fillets,
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups very ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • handful pitted black olives
  • 1 tbsp capers in brine, drained
  • small handful each lemon thyme,oregano and basil leaves, with a few small basil leaves kept aside
  • Deseed and finely slice the peppers, then finely grate the garlic and lemon zest over the peppers. Carefully slice the fennel on a mandolin, or as finely as possible with a sharp knife, then tip half the fennel into a bowl of iced water and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick pan, cook the fish, skin side down, for 4 mins until the skin is crisp and browned, then remove from the pan.
  • Put 1 tbsp more oil into the pan. Fry the fennel and the marinated peppers together for 4-5 mins until soft and starting to brown. Throw in the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar, then continue to cook for 2-3 mins until they soften and release their juices. Scatter over the olives, capers and herbs, then toss everything together.
  • Nestle the fish fillets, skin side up, among the vegetables, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 mins until the fish is just cooked through. Lift the fish from the pan and give the sauce a final simmer and stir, then turn off the heat. This dish is better served warm rather than hot, so don't worry about the vegetables or fish resting before you serve.
  • Drain the reserved fennel and pat dry with kitchen paper. Toss with the juice from half the grated lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil. To serve, spoon the vegetables into the middle of two large dinner plates. Sit the cod on top of the vegetables and top with a little fennel salad on top. Drizzle everything with a touch more oil, then scatter with the small basil leaves

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