Black cod, a delicate and mild fish, is simply seasoned and broiled, and then placed on a bed of salad greens with toasted almond slices sprinkled over it. A beautiful blackberry dressing (easily made from frozen berries) is gently poured over the salad, creating a beautiful and romantic main dish salad for two.
This meal is an example of how, when you have high quality ingredients, simple preparations are all that’s needed to create a wonderful and special meal. It’s also very nutrient dense. I choose black cod, after a discussion with the lady behind the fish counter, because it is a low mercury fish (other cod’s have more medium rates of mercury), and it’s very high in Omega 3 fatty acids (just like salmon!). She also gave me the idea for the blackberry dressing. But you could also use any mild, white fleshed fish. Look for what looks nice at your local store. The blackberries in the dressing not only add color and taste, but nutrients as well.
Black Cod Salad with Blackberry Dressing
By the way, we were able to stretch this out to serve Elena, our two year old as well. The radish sprouts give a nice sharp contrast to the sweet dressing and mild fish, but are optional. Serve with a light soup and some bread for a full meal.
1/2 cup of blackberry puree (1 3/4 cup of frozen berries, cooked on med-low in a small saucepan, until defrosted and cooked slightly, then pureed with hand blender/blender and then put through a sieve)
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves
This will make extra. After you have strained your blackberry puree, mix the rest of the ingredients in, whisking to thoroughly combine. Whisk again just before pouring over your salad.
1/2 pound of black cod fillet (this was one fillet for us)
A small amount of olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Radish Sprouts (Optional)
About half a head of green leaf lettuce, washed, dried and torn into small pieces, or about 4 cups of baby lettuce.
3/4 cup of sliced raw almonds, toasted in dry skillet until fragrant and slightly browned
These directions are only slightly adapted from my beloved Joy of Cooking. If you have any problems whatsoever, look there first for help. I used a fillet that, at it’s thickest point was a little under an inch thick. It cooked very easily.
Place your cod fillet on a lightly greased pan, and brush with olive oil. Lightly season it with sea salt and pepper. Next get your oven ready to broil. If your fillet is 1 inch thick or less, place rack two inches from the coils. If thicker, place the rack about four inches from the source of heat. Preheat broiler for 15 minutes. How long they take to cook will depend on how thick they are. If they are really thin, 1/2 inch or less, they will be done when the exterior turns opaque. (about 4 minutes). If they are thicker, check after 6 minutes. It should be opaque in the middle of it’s thickest part.
Fillets up to one inch thick will most likely be done at this point. But if you have an especially thick fillet, you may need even a few more minutes. Because of the longer cooking time, you should baste them with a little more olive oil so they won’t dry out. Those over 1 1/2 inches thick can be turned over after about 6 minutes and cooked for another 5-6 minutes.
(All fish will be cooked all the way through at 137 degrees F, but it’s easy enough to simply slide a knife in your fish to check if it’s done. From Joy of Cooking. “You will soon learn to recognize the signs of doneness: a firming up of texture, the beginnings of flakiness; an opaque, whiter look throughout.”)
To plate your meal, divide your lettuce between two large plates. Divide the fish between the two plates, by cutting your fillet in half and placing each half in the middle of the plates. Sprinkle the almond slices and optional radish sprouts over the whole plate, and gently pour your blackberry dressing over everything. Serve and Enjoy.