Baked Cod Fillets with Walnut Sauce and Green Vegetables.

I hadn’t had cod in years! I always remember it as a poor man’s fish. It hasn’t got a lot of taste, but the texture is delicious. So, I created this lovely dish. It was very very tasty indeed. The walnut sauce is just perfect with fish. You’ll probably have some of the sauce leftover so do what I did and char grill some vegetables and use it as a dip – perfect!

RECIPE: (serves 2)

Walnut Sauce:
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
150g walnuts
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 slices bread (crusts removed)
125ml milk
salt & pepper
1/2 clove garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
1/2 lemon (juice of)

Baked Cod:
2 cod fillets
4 lemon slices
salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh dill

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic (bruised)
1/4 cup chorizo sausage (diced)
1/2 cup fresh broad beans
10-15 French beans (trimmed)
6 Italian beans (sliced into 4cm pieces)
12-15 baby asparagus
1 teaspoon fresh mint (chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh dill (chopped)
1/4 cup fino sherry

Walnut Sauce:

Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Combine the walnuts, paprika and olive oil on a baking tray. Roast for 5 minutes in the oven. Meanwhile, soak the bread in the milk. When the walnuts are done, remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then, put them in a food processor together with the milk and bread, garlic, parsley and some salt & pepper. Blend until smooth. With the motor running, gradually pour in the olive oil until smooth and thick. Stir in the parmesan and lemon juice and set aside.

The fish:
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Take a large square of foil. Pour over a little extra virgin olive oil, then two slices of lemon. Place the cod on top, then sprinkle with 1 teaspoon dill. Drizzle more olive oil and season well with salt & pepper. Seal the foil. Repeat with the other cod fillet. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the fish is just cooked. Leave to rest for 1-2 minutes. Peel off the skin if required.

Heat the garlic and oil in a pan until just sizzling. Remove from the heat and leave to cool to infuse the oil with the taste of garlic. Remove the garlic then heat over a moderate heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 3-4 minutes until just crisping. Add the French beans and Italian beans and stir for 1 minute. Add the sherry and sizzle briefly. Add 1/4 cup water. Add the asparagus and broad beans and let cook until the liquid is almost gone. Sprinkle over the fresh dill and mint. Just before serving.

To arrange the plate. Add a heaped tablespoon of the walnut sauce on the side of the plate. Place a few spoonfuls of vegetables and chorizo on the other side then place the cod in top. Spoon over a little of the fish juices, sprinkle with some fresh dill and mint and serve!

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