Cod w/ Black Olive Oil

Cod has the mass appeal and the soul of a good thriller. It defies overcooking, welcomes a range of accompaniments, and is great fried, sautéed, and poached. Cod is seasonless: chunked up and thrown into a hot bowl of chowder it’s wintry; battered and fried, it’s a defining taste of a Cape Cod summer. In short, it’s the Bo Jackson of the sea (look it up).

If versatility distinguishes good from great ingredients, cod deserves a bit more respect. And yet, people tend to turn down their noses, considering it pedestrian and cheap. But unlike, say, a television, cheap can be the greatest culinary compliment. The least expensive stuff is often the best; think skirt steak and mussels.

Cod is also perfect with something most of us use every day: olive oil. I read of a tapas method in which you score the fish about a half-inch deep, drizzle olive oil over and broil. The oil seeps into the filet, lending a richness to each flaky bite.

And so we kept it simple. In this case, the oil is strikingly inky from being blended with black olives, but otherwise, it’s a simple plate of an unheralded delicious fish.

(NOTE: the oil should separate. It’s not a tapenade but more of a broken vinaigrette.)

Cod w/ Black Olive Oil

Serves 4

½ pound cured black olives
1 cup good olive oil
1 small bunch radishes, diced small
snipped chives for garnish
4 cod filets, about 6 ounces each
salt and pepper

  1. Puree the olives and oil. Reserve
  2. Cook the fish as desired (it’s versatile-read the above): 1. Preheat the broiler. Season fish with salt and pepper and broil until just cooked through. 2. Season fish with salt and pepper and poach in simmering water until done, about 5 minutes. 3. Preheat the oven to 450, season the fish, wrap individually in foil or parchment paper along with a splash of white wine, until done, about 15 minutes.
  3. To serve, plate the fish, sprinkle over the diced radish and drizzle with the blended oil. (NOTE)

One Comment

  1. Michael says:

    Stunning presentation!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>