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Pan Roast Cod

With End of Summer Vegetables Sauté


Here we go again - I do not want to let go of summer and move on with autumnal recipes. I purchased a pumpkin for the front doorstep, reluctantly, for the deer ate our pumpkin plants in the garden. So one would think that the process of dressing up the front yard with mums, I would imagine apples and winter squash recipes, braises and roasts. But no. I see so many late summer vegetables in abundance I must present another dish with a plethora of garden vegetables in a melange of colors, textures and tastes. The corn this season has been extraordinary and the kale, zucchini and tomatoes had plenty of rain to keep them plump and lush.

I still like a protein at the center of the plate because of my years in the restaurant industry when this was the expected approach. So I present this recipe with a piece of cod loin as the protein because it looked good as I passed the fish department at the market. If cod doesn’t float your boat, then I would suggest a different choice such as salmon, chicken breast, tofu or leave the feature protein out all together. I had some cherry tomatoes on hand, thanks to my sister’s green thumb, and had cooked some lentils the night before.

Serves 2 generously

Ingredients for the roasted tomatoes:

  • 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • a sprinkling of salt and pepper

Ingredients for the cod:

  • 2 five to six ounce portions of cod loin

  • 2 tablespoons rice or wheat flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for the vegetable sauté:

  • about 1 1/4 cups corn kernels from one good sized ear

  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini or yellow squash, 1/2 inch dice

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped crimini mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced

  • 1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, diced

  • 2 large leaves of curly kale, remove the stem and shred the leaves into 1/4 inch strips

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon basil, chiffonade

  • 1/2 cup previously cooked French lentils, green or black

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

Method for the tomatoes:

  • remove any stems

  • place the tomatoes on a small cookie sheet or pie plate and roll around in the olive oil

  • season with salt and pepper and slow roast in a 275F degree oven for about 40 minutes until beginning to get some browning and have shriveled to about half their original size

  • set aside for service

Method for the cod:

  • put the flour of choice on a plate and season with the salt and pepper

  • roll the cod loins in the seasoned flour and coat all sides

  • heat a small cast iron pan to medium high and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • sear the cod on one side until golden

  • turn the cod over and place in a preheated 400F degree oven and roast for about 6 to 8 minutes

  • remove from the oven and drain on paper towels

Method for the vegetable sauté:

  • heat a good sized sauté pan over a medium high flame

  • add in the olive oil and the onion

  • after a minute or so, add the garlic and the bell pepper

  • when the pepper begins to soften, add the mushrooms and cook for another minute or two

  • add the zucchini and corn kernels and cook for about two minutes tossing or stirring occasionally

  • at this point, add the kale and parsley, salt and pepper and lentils

  • toss a few times and remove from the heat

For service:

  • divide the vegetable sauté evenly between two plates

  • place a cod loin on the vegetables and top the plate by scattering the roasted tomatoes around

  • drizzle some good extra virgin olive oil over all and finish by showering the basil around the plate

It is a good idea to get the tomatoes done ahead of time so that the oven can be used to cook the fish at a different temperature. It may seem like a lot of instruction but the dish comes together quickly and logically. Some substitutions can be made depending on the availability of ingredients, what you have in your garden or market. Other fresh herbs might be switched or added. Have a good time and enjoy the end of season produce.