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

Vegetables:
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

DIRECTIONS:
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.

Vegetables:
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.

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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