Pacific Cod with Lemon and Olives

Brighten up your Pacific Cod

Pacific Cod with Lemon and Olives

Serves: 2 | Difficulty:

One thing I always remind my students when they’re tasting is not to forget the acid. When tasting a dish, everyone tastes for salt and pepper and adjusts seasoning to their own palette, but most people forget about balancing the dish with acid, too. A little pop of acidity from wine, citrus or vinegars goes a LONG way in a dish, especially when cooking something with mellow flavors. We tend to add acidity to cut through fatty ingredients but it’s equally important to brighten things up. Here, we’re teaming up white wine and lemon to give us an acidic pop and letting fruity brined olives shine over our Pacific cod. If you end up having extra sauce, you’ll want to have a baguette on hand to soak it all up. ~Chef Ali


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2, 8 oz fillets pacific cod
salt and pepper, to taste
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup green olives, preferably castelvetrano, roughly chopped
½ cup white wine
½ lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoon butter, cold

For the pacific cod:

In a large, nonstick skillet heated over high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season cod fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. Just as oil begins to smoke, add cod fillets searing for 2-3 minutes per side until well-browned and beginning to flake. Be careful not to crowd the pan, cook fish in batches as necessary. Set fish aside.

For the sauce:

In the same skillet over medium heat, add remaining tablespoon olive oil. Saute shallot for about a minute until purple color fades and shallot is tender. Add minced garlic, stirring until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add green olives, tossing to toast for about a minute. Add white wine, allowing to reduce by half, approximately 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and zest. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter. Season with salt and pepper as needed.


Spoon sauce over cod just before serving.

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