As always, I want to create a dish you can recreate at home. The Mediterranean vegetables can be roasted or grilled, and this dish would work fine with a simple baked potato, topped with a small dollop of sour cream. The combination of the roasted vegetables and the baked cod are brought together with the yellow pepper and tarragon sauce; especially so if you use fennel in your vegetable mixture because fennel and tarragon have liquorice notes in them.
Finding fresh fish
As I have said before, buying seafood in the UK at supermarkets is a hit and miss affair, even for chefs! I have recently started using a fishmonger that’s about 9 miles away from me called The Fish Emporium. They are open Wednesday through Saturday and have excellent fresh seafood. You might also find my guide for buying and storing seafood useful. If possible buy your cod skin-on, to help hold your portions together during the cooking process.
As always read all of the recipe to get an understanding of the dish. Prepare the Mediterranean vegetables first, then the yellow pepper sauce before cooking the fish.
2 x 175gram Fresh Cod (skin on)
1 Fennel bulb
1 small Courgette
1 small Aubergine
1 Red Pepper
1 Banana Shallot peeled
Red baby tomatoes
Yellow baby tomatoes
4 large Garlic cloves, peeled.
- Cut the red and yellow baby tomatoes in half lengthwise, rub with a little olive oil, season and place on a baking tray then roast in a fan assisted oven at 110 C. This will cook and dry them out a little until they are cooked, then remove and allow to cool.
- In the meantime, cut the courgette lengthwise and remove the core at a 45-degree angle which holds all of the seeds.
- Trim off some of the root of the fennel bulb and then cut the bulb into thin wedges.
- Next cut the stalk off the Aubergine and slice into 1/4inch (6mm) thick slices.
- Cut the Red Pepper into quarters lengthwise and remove all of the seeds and the stalk. Then cut the quarters into thin slices.
- Cut the Banana shallot into 1/4’s.
- Place the cut vegetables on a baking sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast in a moderately hot oven 190 C until cooked and slightly brown and the garlic is soft.
- Mash the garlic into a bowl together with 1 teaspoon of olive oil gently toss in the roasted baby tomatoes.
- Cut the roasted vegetables into bite-size pieces and toss into the garlic olive oil.
Yellow Peper Sauce
1 yellow pepper (deseeded finely chopped)
8 little yellow tomatoes halved
1/2 small shallot finely diced
30 grams unsalted butter
200ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)
Few leaves of tarragon
- In a small non-stick saucepan melt your butter then cook your shallots until they are translucent.
- Add the yellow pepper and turn down the heat, stirring from regularly.
- Once the peppers are half cooked add the yellow tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes before adding your chicken stock and then cooking the sauce until the peppers are very tender.
- Use just enough cold water to make a paste with the cornflour and stir into the sauce.
- Cook the sauce for a further 2 minutes and then use a blender to process the sauce until it is smooth, then season with salt and black pepper.
- Cut 6-7 tarragon leaves into the sauce and reserve.
Cooking the Cod
I decided in this recipe to bake the cod, rather than roast, as I wanted to keep the Cod white to contrast against the vibrant Mediterranean vegetables. In an oven-proof non-stick frying pan, rub the pan with olive oil and heat for 3 minutes. Then place the cod pieces skin side down into the frying pan and cook for 4 minutes, making sure the cod is not stuck to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid or tin foil and transfer the frying pan to a 190 C oven and cook for a further 4 minutes.
Use a large cookie cutter and pack it with 1/2 of your roasted vegetables. Carefully top with your baked cod and pour your warm yellow pepper sauce into a ramekin and serve.
I suggested at the top of the recipe you could serve this with a simple baked potato, topped with sour cream but you could also try this dish with a side of pasta tossed with olive oil and lots of fresh flat parsley.
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