Tomato & Basil Sauced Cod

Friday 30 June 2017

I think of all the fishes in the sea . . .  cod is my absolute favourite.  It has a lovely mild almost sweet flavour, not too strong . . .  and a delicate texture when cooked properly. It is a fish which lends itself to a wide variety of preparations.

We love it battered and deep fried of course, but that is not my favourite way to prepare and eat it . . .  you might be surprised at that.

My favourite way is actually quite simply pan fried.   A simple seasoning with salt and pepper and a light dusting of flour . . .  is all it needs . . .  and a hot pan with a tiny bit of oil and a knob of butter.  (Not always, but sometimes.)

A nice thick loin will only take 6 to 8 minutes done this way . . .  you don't really need anything else, but the real beauty of cod is that it takes to other flavours admirably.  It is like the chicken breast of the fish family.

Almost anything goed with it.  Today I created a simple sauce using some white wine, lemon juice . . . 

the juice and zest of a lemon, chili flakes with fresh cherry tomatoes and basil . . .

 The flavours are fresh and punchy and go so well with this fish.  It is also a sauce that cooks up very quickly and its also a great way to use up any lacklustre cherry tomatoes you might have in the larder  . . . it does wonders for them, but  . . .

Its also a beautiful way to use up some of the fresh cherry tomatoes that will be landing on our tables over the next weeks . . .  I love fresh tomatoes from the garden.  They are so sweet and tasty! 

Basil goes very well with both tomatoes and fish. In the winter months I rely on store bought fresh basil and I try to use it all up right way, because it is not a great keeer, but in the summer months . . . I grow my own basil in the garden and I just can't get enough of it.  I just love the stuff!!

*Tomato & Basil Sauced Cod*
Serves 2
(can be easily doubled)
Quick, easy and delicious!

2 cod loin fillets
salt and black pepper
1 TBS olive oil

For the sauce:
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
160g cherry tomatoes, halved (1/2 pint)
60ml dry white wine (1/4 cup)
handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

You will also need:
a bit of chopped basil for a garnish

Make the sauce first.  Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the pepper flakes and garlic.  Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cherry tomatoes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, unti they are starting to soften, but still maintain their shape.  Add the white wine and let it bubble up.  Reduce to half.  Stir in the basil, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper.  Simmer for several minutes to amalgamate the flavours.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the fish, dust lightly with salt and pepper and black pepper.  Heat the oil in a clean skillet until hot.  Add the cod, presentation side down.  Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Flip over and continue to cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes until cooked through.  It should flake easily at the edges when prodded with the tines of a fork.  Place onto two heated dinner plates.  Spoon a portion of sauce over each, garnish with a bit of chopped basil and serve immediately.

This recipe is smaller sized just for two, but can very easily be doubled.  You might want to double the sauce anyways.  Just saying!  Fish for Friday.  Bon Appetit!


  1. One of my fave meals is Cod..whatever baked in the oven..yopped w/ a fresh mix of tomatoes,basil,parsley,lemon juice evoo black olives and capers..I let that sit all aft..and top my fish w/ good:)So I get this:)

    1. I saved thinking black olives would be a great addition to this Monique! When I was 14 I used to make a tomatoe Baked cod for my family that everyone loved! It was so simple, just a tin of tomatoes, green pepper, oregano, lol my mother still talks about it! I love cod! Back then,it was the frozen block of cod from Captain Highliner! Xo

  2. What a lovely fresh dish for summer. Cod was on special at the fishmongers today and really fresh, so I grabbed it while I could. It's always a lovely fish to eat - we all like it, including the dog! I took the advice of La Table De Nana and added capers and some black olives and it was delicious. We ate ours on a bed of lemon rice with a tossed green salad on the side.


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