Cod Loin with Preserved Lemon

Image of cod loin with preserved lemon crustThis 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.

Image of preserved lemon with 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

Image of finished dish


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


Image of cod with topping before going in oven

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.

Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.

Image of lemon slice in a squeezer

5 thoughts on “Cod Loin with Preserved Lemon

    • 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.

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