- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- Servings: 4
- Yield: 1 platter of cooked fish, 1 1/4 cup relish, 5 cups of ratatouille
Cod Provençale and Relish
- 1 1/3 cup pitted green olives, sliced thin
- ½ cup olive oil plus more as needed
- 1/3 cup Mama Lil’s pickled peppers, drained
- 1 Tablespoon capers, drained
- 3 anchovy filets
- 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- 20 ounce Alaska cod fillet, thawed, cut into 4 equal pieces
- 1 small spring onion or one large shallot, peeled, sliced thin
- ½ fennel bulb, trimmed, sliced thin
- ½ lemon, seeded, sliced thin
- 10 ripe cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed whole
- 2 branches thyme
- Several basil leaves for garnish
Summer Vegetable Ratatouille
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored and cut into ½ inch squares
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 small green zucchini, washed, ends trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 small yellow summer squash, washed, ends trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
- ½ bunch thyme, picked and finely chopped
- 3 ripe roma tomatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1/2 cup picked basil leaves, scantly packed, washed, and dried
Step 1 Read the Chef's Notes
Whenever I cook something in the style of Provence, I always reach for a specific set of ingredients; salty olives, capers, and anchovies, lots of good olive oil, ripe tomatoes and garlic, fennel, citrus, and fragrant herbs. In my mind these elements of taste define that region’s cooking. Provence is close to Mediterranean, and it is common to see these ingredients paired with a beautiful fresh catch. On our side of the pond, I can’t think of a better fish then Alaska Cod that pairs better with this sun-kissed medley. It’s delicate, white flesh yields perfectly when cooked, providing a perfect backdrop while retaining its uniquely delicious personality.
I like to serve Alaska Cod Provençale with a summer vegetable ratatouille. You might enjoy this dish as a Provençale would, with a bottle of a beautiful rosé, and a loaf of crusty bread. Santé!!!
– Chef Vitaly Paley
Step 2 Make the Ratatouille
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
In a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the red pepper, season with salt and pepper and cook stirring until it starts to turn color, about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it into a roasting pan big enough to hold all the vegetables. Discard the cooking oil, and repeat the process separately sautéing zucchini, squash, onion, and eggplant separately. If all the vegetables do not fit into the pan cook them in batches.
When all the vegetables are together in the roasting pan, add the garlic, chopped thyme and tomatoes on top, drizzle with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and mix everything together. Place the roasting pan into the oven and cook so the vegetables give up their liquid, about minutes. Continue cooking till all the liquid has been absorbed and only slick of olive oil remains, about 45 more minutes. Every 15 minutes or so stir the vegetables very gently as they cook so they cook uniformly and retain their shape.
When done roughly chop the basil and gently stir it into the ratatouille. Serve hot or at room temperature. Ratatouille can also be made several days in advance.
Step 3 Make the Relish
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a food processor add 1 cup olives, 1/3 cup olive oil, pickled peppers, capers, anchovy, sun dried tomatoes and herbes de Provence. Pulse 10 times then scrape down sides with a rubber spatula. Pulse 5 times to retain slightly coarse texture. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (This step can be done up to a day in advance.)
Step 4 Cook the Cod
Preheat oven to 400F. Add remaining olive oil into a large sauté; turn the heat on high. Pat the fish pieces dry a with paper towels; season fish generously on both sides with salt and pepper. When oil starts to shimmer, carefully place the cod pieces into the pan. Cook for 1 minute undisturbed. While the fish is cooking, add the onions, fennel, lemon slices, cherry tomatoes, crushed garlic, thyme and remaining olives. Cook 2 more minutes then turn the fish pieces over. It doesn’t matter where the other ingredients in the pan will end up. Transfer pan to oven; bake 20 minutes. When done, drizzle with a little olive oil all over, then transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with hand torn basil leaves. Serve topped with olive relish and ratatouille on the side.