Is there anything better than fresh and healthy seasonal seafood recipes? Not when you can make an amazingly bright (gluten-free!) and nutritious dish of gentle cod with pops of crisp fresh vegetables and smooth, velvety, and intense roast red pepper puree!
Helping out now and then at one of my favorite restaurants in the Napa Valley, plus being able to be a part of awesome events like Auction Napa Valley (let’s hear it for hours and hours of grilling hundreds of Merguez sausages in the hot sun! That was a sweaty and exhausting day that still somehow managed to be filled with some serious fun), I’ve been completely surrounded nearly every day by massive loads of the freshest and most beautiful produce you can imagine. Shelling peas and favas by the case and shucking buckets of fresh corn, it’s almost impossible not to put together healthy dishes and seafood recipes like this incredibly nutritious and seasonal cod with summer vegetables and red pepper puree.
There's this magical moment just as spring is turning into summer... Click To Tweet
Gluten-free and amazing, the red pepper here is vibrantly flavorful, the vegetables fresh and crisp, and the fish is simply mild and gentle. If you’re looking for an impressive dish that really captures the flavors of the changing season, you’ve come to the right place!
There’s this magical moment just as spring is turning into summer where you still have beautifully crisp and perfect peas and favas, but you’re also starting to see fresh corn and peppers showing up here and there, peeking out from baskets and boxes, promising amazing summer flavors to come. It’s just so incredibly inspiring to be up to your elbows in the freshest and most beautiful produce the valley has to offer, even if it does mean hours and hours of labor!
Now, naturally, because the focus on fresh produce and great relationships with local farms is so absolute in the Napa Valley, I’m going to tell you that shelling your own peas and favas and shucking corn and cutting it off the cob yourself is the way to go! (After you get your peas and favas out of their pods, you can quickly drop them in boiling salted water (get them out of there the second the water comes back up to a boil!) and then immediately put them in ice water to cool them down as fast as you can. This will give you that amazingly vivid bright green color. Now the fun part – you need to go through your favas again and pull their skins off, which will make them much more tender and nicer to eat.) However, I’m well aware that a lot of you out there don’t have access to produce the way we do out here, or you simply don’t have enough time and energy to devote to this sort of project, so by all means substitute frozen vegetables if you need to. Your seafood recipes will still be amazing.
Those backyard nasturtiums we have just won’t quit, so that’s why they’ve made another guest appearance here. They’re getting bigger by the day and they’re absolutely packed with gorgeous flowers! Because they’re thriving, they’re showing up in all kinds of dishes here at Tasting Everything, like the Perfectly Simple Scallops with Avocado and Blueberry and the Salmon and Dill Tartare. It’s so fun to have these little bushes of brightly colored greens and flowers that I can run out, cut, and use to add a bright and peppery flavor to absolutely everything! Dropped in soup, tossed in salads, and sprinkled over fish and pasta dishes, they’re so fun to have around! If you aren’t growing nasturtiums, go ahead and just omit them from the dish entirely. They’re delicious here, but they’re also totally optional.
The red pepper puree can also be a little time consuming, so if you would prefer to make this an even faster dish, you can substitute canned roast red peppers. Also, every so often, it’s actually less expensive to buy cans or jars of roasted red peppers than fresh ones, depending on how (or if) they grow in your area. No matter what you decide, your seafood recipes will be amazing as long as you focus on the quality of your fish. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making any other substitutions that you need to make, so just go for it!
Unbeatably Seasonal Seafood Recipes: Healthy Cod with Fresh Vegetables and Red Pepper Puree
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2-3 large red bell peppers
- salt to taste
- ½ cup peas, blanched and refreshed (see above)
- ½ cup favas, blanched, refreshed, and peeled (see above)
- ½ cup corn, off the cob
- ½ cup kale, stems and spines removed, torn into bite-sized pieces
- ½ Tbs butter
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt, pepper, pinch of chili flakes or smoked paprika
- 6 oz cod per person, cleaned
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil
- salt, pepper
- 2 tsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 475
- Put the red peppers on a sheet tray or baking sheet, drizzle with 1 Tbs oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning the peppers every 10-15 minutes, until the skin is charred in spots and they have collapsed.
- Immediately transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel and remove seeds.
- Puree with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Heat the oil in a skillet or sauté pan. Add the corn with a pinch of salt, chili or paprika, and some pepper and sauté until bright yellow. Add the kale and sauté until wilted. Add the peas and favas and cook until warmed through. Toss in the butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a pan until nearly smoking. Liberally season the fish on all sides with salt. Carefully add to the pan and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, undisturbed, until the edges become opaque (approximately 4 minutes). Carefully flip, add the butter to the pan, and spoon the butter over the fish or simply cover until the fish is cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish.
- Spoon some of the red pepper puree on your plate or bowl and use the back of your spoon to spread it out a little. Top with the vegetables. Place the fish on top. Optional, sprinkle with good quality salt (like Maldon), freshly cracked black pepper, good quality olive oil, and nasturtium leaves and flowers. Dig in!
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