Roasted Norwegian Cod With Lentils & Endives
By Chef Ashley Lim
For Valentine’s Day, surprise your beloved with this sumptuous Norwegian cod that’s easy to prepare at home. A deep-sea oily fish, cod is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids which give it a creamy texture that contrasts well with the delicate crunch of mildly bitter endives and the earthy nuttiness of lentils.
Total Time: 45 minutes
A: To Marinate Cod
130g cod fillet*
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, a drizzle
B: To Braise Lentils
160g green lentils
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red chilli, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
A few stalks of kale – leaves only, roughly shredded
C: “Burnt Endives”
2 small (approximately 10cm) red Belgian endives, halved lengthwise
1 small (approximately 10cm), white Belgian endive halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea Salt, to taste
Black pepper to taste
D: Basil Pesto (makes 350g)
2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with back of knife
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts
150ml olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1. Preheat oven to 220C.
2. To braise lentils: Heat up saucepan over medium heat. Pour in oil. Sauté garlic and chilli until fragrant, approximately 2 minutes over medium heat.
3. Add in lentils, toss to coat it in oil. Bring water to a boil, then allow it to cook approximately 20 minutes. Lentils are done when they turn soft, yet still retain some bite.
4. While waiting for lentils to cook, heat another saucepan over medium-high heat to cook endives – cut them into half, rub with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place endives cut-side down on pan. Cook approximately 5 minutes on each side, flipping once. Lightly press them down with the back of spatula to ensure that the entire surface area of the endive touches the oil. This ensures even browning. Check to ensure that endive does not char.
5. When buying cod fillet, request for a centre-cut. Score skin once.
Drizzle olive oil on cod. Rub with salt and black pepper. Roast for 8 minutes. To check if cod is cooked, insert a toothpick into the thickest part of the meat. If toothpick comes out clean and juices run clear, fish is done.
6. Making Pesto: Gently toast pine nuts until light brown in a saucepan over medium heat – keep stirring so that they don’t catch on base of saucepan to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.
7. In a food processor, pulse nuts, basil, parmesan cheese and garlic until coarsely chopped.
During the process, mixture will cling to sides of bowl. Using a spatula, scrape it down. Pour in olive oil in a steady stream while keeping the processor on – it will gradually turn into a paste.
Do not blend at high speed as pesto will get ‘cooked’, causing it to oxidise and turn brown.
Season to taste with salt if required.
8. To plate, spread lentils on base of plate. Lightly tap plate against kitchen counter to even out lentils. Place 3 endive halves on it. Top with cod, skin side up.
9. Spoon a tablespoon of basil pesto around the edge of the fish, allowing some of it to slide off onto the plate. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over fish. Serve immediately.
PHOTOS: Chef Ashley Lim
STORAGE TIP: Store remaining pesto in an airtight jar in the fridge – it keeps well for up to a week. Alternatively, pour pesto into lightly-greased ice cube trays – it can be kept frozen for up to a month. Just defrost any amount needed the day before.
TECHNIQUE: Scoring fish prevents its skin from curling up while cooking. Also, it allows the marinade to permeate faster to flavour the fish meat. Always pat fish skin dry before seasoning it – this ensures the skin crisps up during cooking.
Head Chef Ashley Lim
Chef Ashley Lim seeks to serve affordable home-style Italian comfort food by combining wholesome traditional fare with fresh, modern ideas. At Jamie’s Italian, his mission is to get diners as allies in the bigger scheme of responsible eating – tucking into dishes cooked using free-range and organic ingredients that are sustainably sourced by reliable suppliers.
About Jamie’s Italian:
Opened in 2013 and 2015 respectively, Jamie’s Italian VivoCity and Jamie’s Italian Forum celebrate sustainable, seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients and produce. As with every other outposts, both restaurants take pride in what they do and work in line with a set of ethos – Traceability, High Animal Welfare, Sustainability and By Catch – through which they strive to be responsible in supporting a fairer food system.
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