Last month in Paris, I booked dinner at Semilla, a favorite Left Bank restaurant of mine. Every dish my husband and I sampled that night was beautifully prepared, but the one that stayed in my mind for days afterward was the roasted cod and Belgian endives.
The dish included fresh turmeric as well as seeds from passion fruit, neither of which was available in my local groceries. So, I made a few adjustments, using ground turmeric as a rub for the fish and replacing the passion fruit with lemon juice. Although not identical, this stateside version rivaled the French one in freshness and in taste. My husband, who is not a fan of pan-roasted fish, actually stopped between mouthfuls to declare the dish a winner.
To add some color, I roasted Campari tomatoes (sometimes sold as cocktail tomatoes) as a garnish. I left them on their vines, drizzled them with olive oil, salted and peppered them, then popped them in a hot (425 degrees) oven for 12 to 15 minutes until slightly wrinkled.
I’ve made this fish and endive combo three times since returning home. Quick, easy, and healthy, the recipe calls for only a touch of butter, is both gluten- and carb-free, and takes 20 minutes to prep and roast. My husband was right! It’s a winner!
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Roasted Cod with Belgian Endive
4 cod fillets about 3/4 inch thick and 7 to 8 oz each
1 tsp turmeric
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
About 7 tbsp olive oil plus extra for the baking sheet
4 medium Belgian endives, halved lengthwise
4 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp flat leaf parsley for sprinkling
4 lemon wedges for garnish
1. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Oil a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil.
2. Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together the turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Season both sides of each fillet with this seasoning. Set aside.
3. Heat butter and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. When hot and bubbly, add the endives halves, cut sides down, and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and sauté on the other side 2 minutes more. Transfer the endives, cut sides up, to the baking sheet. Salt and pepper them.
4. Add 3 1/2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. When hot, add the fish and sauté 1 1/2 minutes per side, adding more oil if needed. Use a metal spatula and slide it under each fillet to turn the fish, which tend to flake easily. Using the spatula again, transfer the fish to the baking sheet. Drizzle each fillet with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Roast just until fish is cooked through and endives can be pierced easily with a sharp knife, only 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle each fillet lightly with salt and pepper.
5. Remove fillets with metal spatula to dinner plates, and serve each with two endive halves. (Do not worry if the fillets seem to flake and break somewhat; they will still be delicious.) Sprinkle fish and endives with parsley and garnish each serving with a lemon wedge for squeezing over the fish. Serves 4.
Copyright Betty Rosbottom 2016