The delicate flavor of cod is beautifully enhanced with a light flavor of fennel. Served with fingerling potatoes, this is a dish that satisfies.
I’m trying to actually like fish instead of eating it because it’s healthy and I’m supposed to. I suppose it means I’m growing up since I choose to serve it to myself instead of having to force it down my throat like I do to my daughter.
The difference in fish that I can tolerate and the stuff I’ll push away, is what it’s cooked with. And, of course, the type of fish it is. Fish like this cod, or tilapia, is mild, ‘non-fishy.’ Those are right up my alley.
If a recipe uses a mildly flavored fish and combines it with a glorious combination of herbs and spices, I’m more than willing to give it a go. The Coriander Crusted Tilapia, tilapia with grapefruit/avocado salsa and Tilapia with Lemon-Garlic Sauce are perfect examples. (Notice the tilapia theme?)
Then there’s this recipe. Even though I’m not a licorice fan, I adore the use of fennel in recipes. It’s mild flavor infuses everything in the pan with a touch of flavor that gives it the certain ‘je ne sais quois’ that puts a meal over the top.
I wasn’t able to find fingerling potatoes in my little corner of the world, which is why my spuds look decidedly round. What I did find was a little bag of baby variety potatoes, red, purple and yellow. They worked perfectly.
So, I boiled them until almost tender and put them aside wile I sautéed the fennel, onion, garlic and tarragon. When tender, I added wine, chicken stock and meyer lemon slices. I added the potatoes and cod, covered the skillet and let everything steam for five minutes or so. That’s why the cod is a beautiful white instead of seared.
To serve, I used shallow bowls, spooned the potatoes, vegetables and broth in first, then topped it with pieces of cod. I decorated the plate with a bit of the fennel fronds.
Sophie ‘suffered’ through the fish but loved the potatoes, going back for seconds. Doug and I both enjoyed the meal immensely. The herbs and vegetables worked perfectly with the fish, which was perfectly cooked, very tender and delicious.
If you can’t find meyer lemons, I suggest using regular lemons and adding a couple of tablespoons of orange juice in addition to the wine and chicken broth. It won’t be exactly the same but it will be close.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
Fingerling potatoes: $3.99
Spring onion: $2.59
Chicken stock: $3.49
Meyer lemons: $2.69
Cod with Fennel and Fingerling Potatoes Recipe
- 3 cups purple Peruvian and banana fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
- ½ cup thinly sliced spring onion, green and white parts
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
- 2 Meyer lemon slices
- 6 (6-oz.) cod loin fillets
- Meyer lemon wedges (optional)
- Place potatoes in a small saucepan; cover with cold water by 1 inch. Place pan over medium-high; bring to a simmer and cook 1 minute or until potatoes are not quite fully tender. Drain well; set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add fennel, onion, garlic, tarragon, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add wine, stock, and lemon slices; bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and cod, nestling cod into sauce; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until fish is done. Divide potato mixture evenly among 6 bowls; top each serving with 1 fish fillet. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.