This is a healthy and delicious fish supper, which is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner, yet elegant enough for a dinner party. It’s simple to make, low in fat and packed full of deliciousness. Tender strips of courgettes (zucchini) are topped with a fillet of poached cod, and roasted baby plum tomatoes with garlic and fresh basil.
My first encounters with cod were from battered fish and chips at our parent’s eatery. We never ate cod whilst we were growing up – we always had trout, salmon heads, red snapper, plaice or sole. It was NEVER fried in batter, but steamed, pan-fried or cooked in soup. When we were old enough to play around in the family kitchen – I used to make cod with parsley sauce, potatoes and veg. That reminds me – I haven’t made that in a donkey’s age! As we’ve gotten older, I like to play around with food and flavors more than ever! Thus this dish was born.
The mingling of the garlic and basil in the baby tomatoes creates a fragrant, and lightly sweet and tangy sauce. It goes spectacularly well with the succulent cod.
Anyone who knows us, will know that we didn’t just eat what was in the photo. That photo was staged! I actually made the complete recipe below with only two fillets of fish, and served each portion with 400 g (14 oz) potatoes roasted in olive oil and herbs. Yes, we DO eat A LOT!
COD WITH ROASTED BABY TOMATOES, GARLIC AND BASIL
- 450 g (1 lb) baby plum (grape) tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 4 x 150 g (5.25 oz) fillets skinless, cod or halibut
- 2-3 medium courgettes (zucchini), thinly sliced lengthways*
- Fresh basil, thinly sliced for garnish
*use a mandolin, the slicing side of a box grater or a very sharp knife
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
2. Toss baby plum (grape) tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped basil, chili flakes, salt and pepper in a baking dish.
3. Roast for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. (It’s normal that whilst cooking and stirring, the tomatoes will not keep their shape).**
4. 10 minutes before the tomatoes are done. Bring one deep-frying pan of seasoned water to a light simmer. Bring another saucepan of seasoned water to the boil.
5. Drop the fish fillets into the deep-frying pan, ensuring that the fillets are covered in the simmering water. Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and opaque (the fish will flake easily when cooked through).
6. Meanwhile, drop strips of courgettes (zucchini) into the saucepan of boiling water. Cook for 1 minute, then strain well.
7. To assemble – arrange a quarter of the courgettes (zucchini) on the center of each plate.
8. Top each pile with a fish fillet.
9. Spoon a quarter of the roasted tomatoes on top of the fish. Garnish with thinly sliced basil and enjoy!
** The roasted tomatoes can be made ahead of time, and heated gently in a pan or microwave before serving