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  • Poached Cod with Lentils, Fennel and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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    Have you noticed all of the fish and legume combinations popping up on restaurant menus lately?  I have enjoyed many interpretations of this latest trend and really love the contrast in textures and flavors.  And, could there be a healthier coupling?  Fish offers plentiful protein and heart-healthy omega 3 fats while legumes offer an additional dose of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

    I originally intended to use seared halibut in this recipe, but it’s not quite in season yet, so I could not find it at my local grocer.  Since I wanted to use a white fish, I went with a wild cod and poached it instead of searing, since this somewhat delicate fish does not like a lot of handling.

    The lentils with fennel are simple but flavorful with a touch of cumin, garlic and olive oil.  If you’ve never had fennel, it is a wonderful herb-y veggie with a subtle licorice flavor.  It’s by far one of my favorite vegetables to cook with and is especially yummy with fish.

    The roasted red pepper sauce is made easier by using a good quality jarred roasted pepper. Fennel seed, lemon juice, smoked paprika and olive oil round out the flavors.  This meal is super flavorful and really easy to prepare (I promise).


    2011 Nancy Granada Kindred Kitchen

    Poached Cod with Lentils, Fennel and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

    servings: 2 | time: about 45 minutes

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    For the Lentils:
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    1 cup chopped fennel (the dark green stems can sometimes be tough, so you may want to skip them; reserve the feathery green leaves for garnish)
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 Tsp. cumin
    1.5 cups cooked lentils (rinsed if using canned)
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Handful of fresh parsley, chopped


    For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
    1 Tsp. fennel seed
    6 ounces jarred roasted red peppers (preferably organic), coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    1/4 tsp. of smoked paprika
    1/4 tsp. sea salt
    1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


    For the Fish:1/4 cup water
    1/3 cup white wine
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    4 lemon slices
    2/3 pound wild cod fillets



    For the Lentils:
    1. Heat the olive oil in a large non stick skillet.  Add the fennel and garlic and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes.
    2. Add the cumin and saute for 3 minutes
    3. Add the cooked lentils and saute for 5 minutes
    4. Add the salt, pepper and parsley.  Keep warm over very low heat


    For the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
    1. Heat a stainless steel saute pan over medium low heat.
    2. Add the fennel seed and toast quickly, moving the pan constantly to avoid burning the seed (be very careful, fennel seed will smoke/burn quickly).
    3. Remove pan from heat and add peppers, return to heat and add wine, paprika, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
    4. Pour mixture into a blender.  Add the lemon juice and blend on puree until nearly smooth (always be very careful when blending hot food!)
    5. With the blender on puree, slowly stream in the olive oil until the sauce turns more toward and orange red in color and thickens slightly.  Set aside


    For the Fish:

    1. Heat the water, wine, salt, pepper, and lemon slices over medium low heat until it comes to a low simmer.
    2. Add the cod, cover and poach in a low simmer for about 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and is not longer opaque


    1. Place a generous portion of the roasted red pepper sauce in the center of the plate (be sure to give it one more quick spin in the blender first)
    2. Pile 1/2 of of the warm lentil and fennel atop the pepper sauce
    3. Gently lift the fish from the poaching liquid and lay atop the lentils
    4. Garnish with fennel leaves, parsley and lemon slice


    One response to “Poached Cod with Lentils, Fennel and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce”

    1. Kelly says:

      I made this last night for dinner- absolutely delicious! I didn’t have fennel seed for the pepper sauce so I used some dill! It still turned out yummy! The sauce has such strong flavors – it really balances the lentils and fish.

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