This is a North African-influenced version of the cod loin with a tapenade crust I talked about a couple of months ago.
Again, it makes for a quick and easy supper and the flavours are really zingy – just right for giving your palate a tickle on an autumn evening.
It has a triple hit of lemon flavours – salted preserved lemon, fresh lemon and a lemon chilli.
If you don’t have lemon chillies any small medium-hot chilli will do nicely. You’re looking for a buzz of chilli heat but you don’t want to overpower the fish.
This mix, used here as a topping, would also make a good stuffing for mackerel or sardines.
Cod loin with preserved lemon
2 pieces of cod loin (the thick, middle part of the fillet)
A double handful of fresh white breadcrumbs
1 preserved lemon, juice squeezed and retained, flesh discarded, the peel fairly finely chopped (you don’t want a puree)
6 black olives, preferably the marinated sort, not the tasteless ones in brine, chopped
Zest and juice of half a fresh lemon
1/2 small lemon chilli (or any small medium-hot chilli), deseeded and chopped fine
6 sundried tomatoes, chopped, and 1-2 tbsps of their oil
Small bunch of parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6
Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients, including the juice from the preserved lemons. You need enough liquid – oil and lemon juice – to make it cling together enough to stick to the fish, no more.
Put the cod loins in a lightly greased oven tray and press the mixture firmly onto the fish.
Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish fillet.
Looks good enough to eat, what did you serve it with?
Thanks! A tomato and pepper salad and little cubes of fried potato but mainly because that’s what I had to hand.
It’d be good with something like Moro’s chickpea salad (chickpeas, cherry toms, cucumber, mint and coriander, red onion, chilli,garlic, lemony dressing).
Or the rice salad I did a while back …http://mrsportlyskitchen.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/moorish-kebabs/
Very good looking cod. So often, cod is great in theory but a bit bland unless one dresses it up a bit.
Like you said before, it’s lovely when it’s spanking fresh, like all fish really. I wanted to do something different with preserved lemon – like a lot of people I have a jar that’s been sitting on the shelf looking at me reproachfully.
Reproachful lemon. Now there’s a concept. Reproachful and bitter….