Tomato-Poached Cod with Fresh Herbs
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Cooking fish at home often feels like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Take this recipe for tomato-poached cod, from Yasmin Fahr’s Keeping It Simple. It’s just a few ingredients, comes together in 25 minutes and is definitely easy enough to make on a weeknight.
“Back when my sister lived in Paris, I scanned through the Rose Bakery cookbook in her apartment when visiting, which was full of high-quality, minimal and delicious recipes," Fahr writes. "A variation of their poached cod in tomato water was one I made over and over again, for both myself and guests.”
According to Fahr, salting the cod generously on all sides, then setting it aside while you prep the other ingredients, allows it to keep its shape better during the cooking process. Rinse the salt off with cold water and pat dry, then salt and pepper it before adding the sauce. It’s also helpful to get similar-sized fillets so that they cook evenly (and yes, you could swap it for another white fish like mahi mahi, grouper or haddock).
“This recipe is really easy, good for you and can slip into your weeknight rotation when you want to look fancy and feel good with minimal effort (aka my goal in life)." Ours too, Yasmin.
Excerpted with permission from Keeping It Simple by Yasmin Fahr, published by Hardie Grant Books, February 2020.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more, as desired
Two 14-ounce cans crushed tomatoes and their liquid
1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock (or water)
Four 5-ounce cod fillets
1 cup parsley or basil leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped or torn, for sprinkling
Toasted crusty bread, for serving
1. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and salt, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Pour in the tomatoes and stock and raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and season with salt and pepper. Let it cook until the tomatoes lose their tinned taste and the liquid reduces slightly, 8 to 10 minutes
2. Season the fish with salt and pepper and add to the sauce, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, spooning the sauce over the fillets occasionally, until the fish is opaque and easily flakes when touched, about 5 minutes. If they are not fully submerged, turn them over halfway. (Thick fillets will take a little longer.)
3. Divide the fish between serving bowls and spoon the tomato sauce on top. Finish with pepper and parsley and serve with the bread for dipping.
Note: To add more heat to the dish, you can stir in ½ to 1 tablespoon harissa when adding the shallots and garlic.