This gorgeous cod recipe is courtesy of my grandmother. Being from Algarve, she used almonds in many dishes. The addition of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is mine, I feel the sharpness complements the dish beautifully, as both the cod and almonds are mild in taste. Served over a bed of garlic wilted spinach and tenderstem broccoli.
The Portuguese dish of "punched" potatoes is a fabulous accompaniment, but just the wilted spinach is enough.
You can find the recipe here.
The recipe is for two people but doubles beautifully.
I also flash-roast the cod by placing it in a very hot oven for 8-10 minutes. Flash-roasting the fish in a very hot oven is the simplest way I know to get it perfectly cooked without all the juices running out of it. This method produces very juicy fish. The intense heat seals in the moisture.
Flash Roasted Cod with Almond & Parmesan Crust
Takes 8-10 minutes to cook
For the cod:
2 Cod centre loin fillets
For the crust:
50 g. Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, cut into small pieces
50 g. Flaked almonds
4 tbsp. (60 grams) COLD salted butter
1/2 tsp. Sweet smoked paprika
2-3 Sprigs of parsley, roughly chopped
2 Cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
80 ml. Extra virgin olive oil, divided
75 ml. Dry white wine
1 Lemon, juice, and zest reserved for greens
Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
More lemon wedges to serve if desired.
For wilted greens:
180 g. Tenderstem broccollii
180 g. Fresh baby leaf spinach
60 ml. Water
4 Cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Crushed red chili flakes to taste, optional
1. Preheat oven to 260°C (500°F) Make sure oven is preheated before placing the fish in.
2. Generously salt and pepper on both sides of the fish and place in centre of a baking dish, drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil.
3. Make the crust:
In a food processor or a mortar and pestle, add almonds, cold butter, a pinch of salt and pepper, paprika, parsley sprigs, garlic, 20 ml. of extra virgin olive oil and cheese. Pulse until just well combined and coarse. You do not want a paste.
Divide, using your hands to mould the mounds onto the cod loins. Drizzle cod with the remaining extra virgin olive oil, and lemon juice. Pour the white wine into the bottom of the baking dish.
4. Once hot, place fish in the centre of the oven and roast uncovered for 8 minutes. Fish will continue to cook as it rests. Do not overcook. Note: thicker fillets or loins may need slightly longer, cook a bit longer at 2-minute intervals until cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, make the greens. In a large, high-sided, frying pan, add extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and chilli flakes, if using, and add broccoli on medium-high heat. Stir fry for 2 minutes and add water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add spinach, cover and cook for 1 minute more. Turn off heat. Stir and season with salt to taste. Set aside covered until ready to serve. If there is too much water left in the pan, drain and discard it before serving.
6. To serve, place greens in centre of plate. Top with almond crusted cod. Drizzle generously with cod roasting juices, a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.