Eat more seafood. Three simple words and one of my New Year’s resolutions that, so far, I am staying on track with. I realize we’re all more inclined to associate eating more seafood with summer when it’s easier to fire up the grill, but with the availability of cod – either True cod or Lingcod – and this simple and successful method of oven searing, winter can be too.
And it’s citrus season, so now is the time to use lemon and one of my favorite ways is in a simple vinaigrette to spoon over the cod. Highlighted by the clean, refreshing flavor of both the lemon zest and juice, it goes together in minutes and can be made ahead. Since I almost always have Italian parsley on hand this is my first choice for the herb. Cilantro and basil easily be substituted.
When you buy the seafood, two things will save you time once you’re at home. The first is to have the seafood department remove the skin from the fillet and the second is to have them cut it into serving size portions. Cod is a great choice here, but you can use red snapper or halibut too.
For success in oven pan searing, the important factor is to heat the baking sheet while you are preheating the oven to make sure it is hot. This not only insures quicker cooking than if you put it on a room temperature baking sheet, but it also browns the cod a bit giving a little caramelized flavor.
Shallot (a member of the onion family) gives the vinaigrette a bit of flavor complexity the mild flavored fish needs. Chopping them finely helps disperse their flavor more evenly in the vinaigrette.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley (fresh basil or cilantro can be used)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 4 cod fillets, 6 ounces each (True cod or Lingcod, as well as red snapper and halibut can be used)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- For the vinaigrette, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, shallot, salt and pepper to taste. Allow sitting 20 to 30 minutes to blend flavors.
- Put a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. or 425 degrees F. convection bake. Brush cod fillets with the 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
- When oven is hot, put cod fillets on the heated baking sheet in a single layer (they will sizzle). Bake just until cod is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on fillet thickness. Spoon Lemon Vinaigrette over cod.