Cod with lentils


by: NuttyChef

I made this for the first time in Olivo. Tony Allan, who supplied our fish, brought me some cod, which I cooked in a pan, and I happened to have some lentils there for another dish. l put the two together, and thought the flavors were amazing, and the flakiness of the really fresh cod worked so well with the flouriness of the lentils. In Italian cooking you find some stews of fish with lentils, but they are longer—cooked, whereas part of the pleasure of this dish comes from the crispy skin of the pan-fried cod. Cod is one of the most overfished fish, so buy it only from genuinely sustainable sources, and preferably line-caught rather than landed by trawler.


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serves: 4

2 handfuls of parsley

17 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

4 large cod fillets (from the center of the fish, each about 8 ounces, 1/2 pound)

3 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil

3 1/2 tablespoons butter (cut into small cubes)

a few rosemary (leaves to garnish)

salt and pepper

For the lentils:

1 1/3 cups green lentils (preferably lenticchie di Castelluccio)

1 white onion

1 carrot

1 stalk celery

1 small leek

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 1/2 piece of unsmoked pancetta

sprig of rosemary

small bunch of sage

2 leaves bay

6 cups vegetable stock

handful of parsley, chopped

3 1/2 tablespoons butter (cut into small cubes)

Nutrition Facts
Cod with lentils

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 1884

  • Total Fat: 148.7 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 38.6 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 226.2 mg
  • Sodium: 3213.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 69.3 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 24.2 g
  •     Sugars: 4.8 g
  • Protein: 71.2 g

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1.  Prepare the lentils: soak them in water for half an hour, then drain. While they soak, finely chop the vegetables.

2.  Heat half the olive oil in a pan and add the chopped vegetables and the piece of pancetta. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft but not colored. It is important that the vegetables be soft, so that they release all their sweetness, flavor and moisture into the lentils.

3.  Add the lentils together with the herbs, all tied together, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring until everything is well mixed and the lentils start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Don't season at this point, as salt will make the lentils harden.

4.  Add around 4 cups of stock (to cover the lentils by about a linger) and keep the rest bot on the burner in case you need it. Bring the contents oi the lentil pan to a boil, turn down the beat and simmer for 45 minutes until the lentils are soft, adding more stock if they begin to get dry. Remove the pancetta and keep the lentils on one side, but keep the stock bot in case you need to loosen the lentils before serving.

5.  Put the 2 handfuls of parsley into at food processor with the olive oil and process as quickly as possible until you have o bright green sauce.

6.  Season the fish. If you have two large nonstick frying pans, heat them at the same time and divide the sunflower or vegetable oil between them. When it is just beginning to smoke, put in the fish, skin side down, and keep pressing down and checking underneath — the skin should turn crispy and golden brown. You will see the flesh beginning to turn opaque. When it has turned white almost all the way through, turn it over. Divide the butter between the two pans.

7.  While the butter is foaming, put the pan of lentils hack en the heat — the lentils need to be the consistency of a risotto, not "soupy", or they will be too loose after you add the butter; so, if necessary, drain off a little of the liquid. Add the parsley and stir in the butter. If, on the other hand, the lentils are not loose enough, you can add a little of the reserved hot stock. Cheek the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

8.  Spoon the lentils onto the plates, with the parsley sauce on the side. Tilt each pan containing the fish toward you so that tho buttery juices collect in one spot, then spoon this over tho top of tho fish. Lift the fish out and serve on top of tho lentils.

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