After the Memorial Day holiday when we indulged in grilled burgers and steaks, I knew we needed some lighter fare at our house. I was thinking fish, but my spouse is a picky eater when it comes to seafood. He loves shellfish, but is not crazy about fish with fins! Since my local grocery has displayed beautiful cod almost every week during this pandemic, I’ve ordered some fillets. I have a special recipe in mind—Roasted Cod with Tomatoes and Chunky Guacamole Salsa.
I drizzle the fillets with lime juice, top them with sliced tomatoes, and then put them in a hot oven for less than 15 minutes. It’s the garnishes, though, that will win my spouse’s approval. Each serving will be embellished with a good dollop of guacamole salsa, a pinch of crispy bacon, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Those vibrant additions pair well with the mild taste of the fish.
Although I prepare this dish most often with cod, you could certainly substitute other mild white fish as I’ve suggested in the ingredients list. And, if you are in a rush, you can substitute your favorite purchased guacamole for my chunky homemade one. Add corn on the cob and some tender green beans sprinkled with a little sea salt, and you’ll have a delicious and easy summer menu! Everyone continue to stay safe and eat well!
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Roasted Cod with Tomatoes and Chunky Guacamole Olive oil for oiling the baking
Olive oil for oiling the baking sheet
Two 10 to 12-ounce cod fillets or other mild white fish (such as halibut, haddock, or grouper), 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick
8 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 medium tomatoes (or 4 to 5 large plum tomatoes), stemmed and thinly sliced
4 slices bacon (about 4 ounces), fried until crisp and broken into bits
Chunky Guacamole (recipe follows) or your favorite purchased guacamole
4 teaspoons chopped cilantro
4 lime wedges, for garnish
1.Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2.Line a heavy, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and oil the foil generously with olive oil. Arrange the fish fillets on the baking sheet. Drizzle 4 teaspoons of lime juice over each fillet, then salt and pepper generously. Arrange enough slightly overlapping tomato slices on top of each fillet to cover (you may not need to use all of the tomatoes).
3.Roast the fish until the flesh is opaque and flakes easily when pierced with a sharp knife, 10 to 12 minutes or longer. (Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish so watch carefully.)
4. Cut each fillet in half and, using a fish turner or a large metal spatula, transfer each piece to a dinner plate. Top each serving with a mound of guacamole, sprinkle with some bacon and chopped cilantro, and garnish with a lime wedge.Serves 4
Chunky Guacamole Salsa
2 ripe avocados, just soft but not mushy, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
2 large ripe plum tomatoes (about 6 ounces total)
One 3-inch long jalapeno pepper
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp chopped shallots
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1.Put the avocados into a nonreactive mixing bowl. Halve the tomatoes, seed and stem them, then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Add to the mixing bowl.
2.Wearing rubber gloves, halve the jalapeno lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and veins and discard them. Mince the pepper and add to the bowl.
3.In a separate small bowl, mix together the lime juice, shallots, cilantro, cumin, and salt. Whisk in the oil. Pour over the avocados and tomatoes and mix gently so that avocados do not get mashed. Taste and add more salt if needed.
4.If not using immediately, cover the surface with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for up to 1 hour. Makes 2-1/2 cups
From Sunday Roasts by Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books 2011) Photo by Susie Cushner