Monday, June 9, 2014

Baked Cod with Roasted Orange Pepper Sauce over Arugula with Lemon Vinaigrette

Baked Cod with Roasted Orange Pepper Sauce over Arugula with Lemon Vinaigrette 

We were so excited to try this dinner tonight, I totally skipped taking photos. So I'm including a photo of an arugula salad in case you're not familiar with this peppery green which has been popular in Italy and has been gaining traction here in the US since about the millennium. If you're from the UK you'll know it as "rocket," which is a much better description of the flavor in my mind.

This time of year, where I live in northern Illinois, arugula is plentiful and inexpensive at the farmers' markets and I'm always looking for recipes where I can let its flavor shine. This dish is one of those. If you don't have arugula, you can use a mixed field green salad with the same dressing.

For most recipes I create, I more go by taste than measurements, so I'm guessing on the amounts of the seasonings.  Feel free to use more or less to your taste and preference.

For the Fish:
2 lbs. cod or other firm white fish
2-3 T olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried basil

Drizzle fish with olive oil and season with remaining ingredients. Bake in preheated 400°F oven on foil-lined pan or glass dish for 20-35 minutes or until fish flesh is opaque and easily flakes with a fork.While fish is baking, make the sauce and dressing.

Roasted Yellow Pepper Sauce
1 yellow, red, or orange bell pepper (I had yellow, so that's why the color was yellow. The flavor is essentially the same.)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
Juice of ½ fresh lime (do NOT substitute anything from a plastic fake fruit!! You can substitute fresh lemon juice or omit if you don’t have the fruit).
1 tsp ground coriander
4 T olive oil, divided
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Rinse and dry the pepper. Then roast the pepper over an open flame on your gas stove top, turning as each side becomes charred. If you have an electric range, place the pepper under a broiler and keep a close eye on it, turning it as each side becomes charred. After charring, set aside for a few minutes until cool enough to peel. I peel mine by rinsing under cold water and pulling off the stem and removing the seeds and ribs with my fingers. Tear into large chunks and put into Vitamix or other high speed blender..

Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic on med-low heat in about 2-3 tablespoons olive oil seasoned with about ½ tsp salt until translucent and just starting to brown around the edges, about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with ground coriander. Pour mixture into the Vitamix. Blend on medium to high for about 30 seconds. Adjust salt and pepper seasoning, add remaining olive oil and blend again for a few more seconds until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.

Whip up the lemon vinaigrette:

1 tsp lemon zest
¼ c olive oil
¼ c fresh-squeezed lemon juice
¼ tsp of xylitol, stevia, monk fruit, or other natural sweetener
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
Sea Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a glass jar (Ball or Mason style or recycled jelly jar), close lid tightly and shake it like you mean it. Toss with four large handfuls of arugula.

To plate:
Place a bed of the lightly dressed arugula on the plate, then top with a serving of fish. Finish the play by drizzling about 1/8 cup of the sauce (I have a small-sized ladle which is perfect). It tastes as delicious as it looks and next time I fix this (possibly next week) I'll update with photos. :-)