I was passing by the seafood section of the market the other day and remembered an article that I had seen recently (that I of course can’t find now) about the benefits of fish in our diets versus red meat. I’m not quite ready to give up red meat but I thought it would probably be a good idea to switch it up once in awhile for a more well-balanced diet. And it’s a scientific fact that eating fish for dinner will negate the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that I ate this past weekend.
No? Not accurate? Huh…
I left the market with a cod fillet. Cod is a nice light white fish (say that three times fast) that is really versatile and doesn’t stink up the house like some other fishes I know (coughcoughsalmoncough). It’s also super easy to cook; you can just season it with some olive oil, salt and pepper, toss it in the oven for 15 minutes and there ya go – dinner!
We had a bunch of spinach left over from…something that I can’t remember so I wanted to take the opportunity to try to make a meal that I had botched awhile back: baked cod with spinach and tomatoes and a white wine and lemon sauce. The last time I made this I used way too much lemon and it was just too tart. I altered the recipe a little and it came out pretty good this time! Let’s get cookin’.
Start by halving a pint of cherry tomatoes
and washing your spinach.
Set those bad boys aside.
Place the fish skin-side down in a pan or on a baking sheet. I would normally recommend lining the pan with tinfoil but we didn’t have any so I just sprayed the bottom with a nonstick spray. Rub the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Melt the butter and combine in a small bowl with the breadcrumbs, olive oil and lemon juice.
Mix until combined. It will seem like the mixture is too dry but stick with it; the texture should be crumbly, not a paste.
Spread the bread crumb mixture onto the fish and press down with a fork.
Pop the fish into the oven.
Heat up some olive oil in a large skillet and then add the wine, salt and pepper.
Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until half of the liquid has cooked off.
Add the capers
then the tomatoes
and finally, the spinach. It’s going to seem like a ton of spinach and will barely fit in the pan but just push it around with a wooden spoon or spatula to make it fit – the spinach will decrease in size as it wilts.
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.
Check to make sure that the fish is cooked through – it should be white and should pull apart easily.
Serve the fish over the spinach and tomatoes and enjoy!
Baked Cod with Lemon & White Wine Spinach & Tomatoes
Makes: 2 servings / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 12-15 minutes
For the fish
2 cod fillets (I got just shy of a pound and it was plenty for 2 people)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian breadcrumbs)
1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
juice of 1/4 of a lemon
For the spinach and tomato mixture
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
6 cups spinach
1 tablespoon capers
Place your cod fillets on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Combine the bread crumbs, butter, 1 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and the lemon juice in a small bowl and spread evenly over top of the fillets. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until no longer opaque.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the lemon juice, white wine, salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower it back to medium and saute until your liquid reduces by half. Add the tomatoes, capers and spinach and saute until your spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute. Serve the fish over the spinach and tomatoes.