Playing with the idea of surf and turf, the saline ocean brightness of seafood combines well with the earthy sweetness of root vegetables. Here’s another way to enjoy the sparkling fresh cod that has been available at the Winter Farmers’ Market — it’s local, it’s seasonal, and it’s begging to be put together for dinner.
Roast Cod with Potatoes
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 6 to 8 potatoes, peeled, sliced in half and cut into 1/4 inch half-moons
- A couple of tablespoons cooking oil, fat or butter
- 1 pound cod fillet (or other local white fish, such as haddock or monkfish), rubbed lightly with cooking oil
1. Heat oil with garlic in a large skillet until garlic is softened and starting to brown. Remove garlic, and save for making garlic mayonnaise. Alternatively, spread it on a piece of crusty bread and eat while making rest of dinner. Add potatoes to pan, tossing occasionally, and cook until browned around the edges. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Transfer potatoes to an oiled or buttered baking dish. Lay cod fillet on top of bed of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, dress with chopped tomatoes, a coating of pesto, or a sprinkling of breadcrumbs.
3. Roast in a 400°F oven until fish is done, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cooking time will depend on thickness of fish. Serving suggestions include a salad, some sauteed winter greens, and a garlicky mayonnaise made with some whole grain mustard mixed in.
Serves 2 generously.
Stripped-down version: For a one-pan meal, cook the potatoes in an ovenproof skillet. Leave cooked potatoes in skillet, lay fish directly on top, and place skillet in oven to finish cooking.
Low-fat version: May boil or steam potatoes instead.
Dress-up options: Toss cooked potatoes with chopped herbs, such as parsley or green onions, before adding fish. For the fish, I usually make a topping of diced tomatoes mixed with chopped garlic and basil. For this winter version, I used some roasted cherry tomatoes that I’d preserved in olive oil.
Dinner rerun: Leftovers were cooked up as a fish hash — pan-fry everything together, crack a couple of eggs on top, cover skillet and cook until eggs are done to your liking. Other ideas for leftovers: use as the base for a chowder, or add to a jar of canned tomatoes for a fish stew.