Baked Cod with Mediterranean Salsa

February 9, 2011

Aunt Suzy says . . .

This week two food contest sites have put out a call for recipes with citrus.  This is a perfect time of year to cook with citrus, and it has been a welcome reminder that there are other types of food than the soups, stews and chilis we’ve been making here at S&SK this winter!  We want to enter this recipe, so I cooked it last night so we’d have some photos.  It’s been a long time since I’ve made this and while eating it, I was wondering why it’s been off the menu for so long!  It is as pretty as it is tasty and just what the doctor ordered to bring a taste of warmer climes to our dinner table.  We almost always serve this with Green Rice, recipe below, and a Sauvignon Blanc is a perfect pairing.

Margaux says . . .

This is one of my all time favorite dishes! The first time we made it, we were on vacation in Florida in 2002, and it made Jason (my husband) forget about the terrible sunburn he had for a few minutes. We’ve made it several times since, for company and just for ourselves, and I don’t think I can ever get tired of it! The salsa is a little tedious to make because of all the chopping, but totally worth it, and the ease of the fish makes up for it. The green rice is one of my favorite side dishes. It’s actually in my regular rotation, and I serve it with chicken or fish quite often. And it always gets rave reviews from guests!!

Aunt Suzy says . . .

Thanks for mentioning, Margaux, that this is a wonderful dish for company or a special occasion.  Both the fish and the green rice receive raves from everyone we’ve served it to!

Serves 4

The Salsa

2 navel oranges
1/2 cup plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup red onion, small dice
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, diced
1 heaping tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
1/4 preserved lemon peel, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Cut the top and bottom off the oranges.  Make 2-inch long strips of orange peel and set aside.  Cut the remaining skin off with a knife making sure that no white pith remains.   Slice cross-wise, about 1/3-inch thick, and then 1/2-inch pieces.  Place the orange pieces in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and stir to blend.  Set aside.  NOTE: This is just as good without the preserved lemon if you don’t happen to have any on hand.  Well, almost just as good :-).

The Fish

Four 6-ounce pieces cod filets (or halibut)
The strips of orange peel

Place the fish in an oiled glass baking dish.  Top with the orange peel strips.  Bake at 500 degrees, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness.  To serve, place fish on individual serving plates and top with the salsa.

Green Rice

Cook 1 cup Basmati rice according to directions – you can use white or brown rice.  When rice is done and resting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a Dutch oven.  Add 1-2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, and sauté 2 minutes, until fragrant.  Stir in and cook over medium high heat a total of 5 cups coarsely chopped greens – arugula, spinach, beet tops, watercress, parsley, etc.   Cook until just wilted.  Stir the rice into the greens and  blend well.  We usually make double the recipe!


3 Responses to “Baked Cod with Mediterranean Salsa”

  1. Nicki Says:

    This sounds totally YUMMMOOOOOOOO. I’ll definitely make both!

  2. Ahs Says:

    Yes, halibut is another idea! Do you think it would still work without the olives and capers (don’t really like) – or do you recommend a substitution?

    The green rice idea sounds awesome – will definitely try! Gotta use all that kale somewhere 😉

    • Hi Ahs – halibut works great with this dish, but I usually go for cod cuz it’s a lot less expensive! I think you should at least try this with the olives. They blend with all the flavors and provide a great saltiness, but aren’t a prominent flavor. I even have the right amount you would need right now in my fridge if you want to come by and I could give you some preserved lemon peel :-). You could easily omit the capers.

      If you use the kale in this rice, you will need to steam it first. It takes a lot longer to cook than spinach or arugula. But I think it would be delicious!

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