Extra Virgin Olive Oil Poached Cod with Roasted Tomatoes and Fried Capers
- Prepare the cod: remove the cod from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour.
- Prepare the saffron rice: place one pinch of saffron threads in a spice mortar and crush them with the pestle. Add the second pinch of saffron but don’t crush. Pour in 1/4 cup of hot water in the mortar and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add minced onions and sauté until the onions begin to lightly brown. Add the rice to the pot and continue to sauté for 1 minute more. Add the saffron liquid and the broth (or water), stir to incorporate the saffron, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to plate.
- Poach the cod: position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 225°F. In a 10-inch sauté pan, saucepan, or Dutch oven heat 6 cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to 120° F. Use a thermometer to get to this exact temperature. Once the cod is at room temperature, rinse in cool water and pat dry. Gently place the cod in the heated olive oil. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer to the oven, and allow the cod to poach for exactly 25 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, remove the cod and transfer to a rack and gently blot dry.
- Roast the tomatoes: increase oven temperature to 450° F. Place the tomatoes on a baking pan (covered with foil for easy clean up!) and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and black pepper. Roast until the skins of the tomatoes begin split open and they start to collapse and brown, about 10 minutes. If necessary, turn off oven and leave tomatoes inside with the door cracked until ready to plate.
- Fry the capers: just before plating the dish, fry the capers. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Drain capers in a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a clean paper towel. Gently pat dry and carefully add to the hot oil. Shake the pan so that the capers are in a single layer. Sauté, shaking the pan frequently, until all sides are golden-brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and shake to incorporate.
Plate the dish:
Transfer the saffron rice to a large platter and spread out. Carefully place the cod fillets on top of the rice. Pour the capers, including the olive oil, over the top of the fillets, then top with the roasted tomatoes and their juices. Garnish the dish with the lemon zest plus extra lemon wedges for serving. Serve immediately.
For best results, the cod should be at room temperature before cooking, so let it rest on the counter for an hour before you start cooking. Once you’re ready to begin cooking, start with the rice, then move on to the cod (the rice can be kept warm as you prepare the rest of the dish). Once the cod is removed from the oven, you can begin roasting the tomatoes and frying the capers.
Excellent enjoyed with a white Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Pinot Gris.
This recipe was made by Sheri Wetherell for Olive Oils from Spain. She is co-founder and CEO of Foodista.com, a recipe, cooking, food news, and travel website located in Seattle, Washington.