Richard Holden’s Pan Fried Cod with Ratatouille & Salsa Verde
This summer we’ve teamed up with trained chef and BBQ master Richard Holden to produce a series of restaurant-worthy recipes to help curb our appetites while staying at home. From British classics to Mediterranean favourites, Richard’s Lockdown Menu brings the flavours and quality of the foods we’re all missing to our own kitchens.
The final recipe on Richard’s menu is this wonderfully refreshing fish dish, packed with vibrant Mediterranean vegetables and topped with a piquant salsa verde. When cooked perfectly to 60°C, the fish will be soft and flaky with a beautifully crisp skin – delicious!
For the cod
2 x 160g cod loins, skin on
Sea salt flakes
2 sprigs of thyme
For the ratatouille
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
½ large onion, diced
½ red pepper, diced
½ yellow pepper, diced
½ aubergine, diced and lightly salted
1 courgette, diced
1 tsp tomato paste
1 clove of garlic, crushed
½ tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of basil
Sea salt flakes
Coarse black pepper
For the salsa verde
2 sprigs of basil, picked
2 sprigs of mint, picked
2 sprigs of parsley, picked
1 sprig of dill, fronds picked
½ lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp capers
Salt and pepper
To make the salsa verde
1. Put the herbs into a food processor with the capers and lemon zest. Turn on and pour oil through the spout until you have a pourable consistency.
2. Stop and add the lemon juice before blitzing again, then taste. Add extra seasoning, lemon juice or oil until the favours are to your liking and you have a delicious and fresh salsa verde!
3. Pour into a serving bowl and set to one side.
To make the ratatouille
1. Score a cross in the top of each tomato and put into boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove and place straight into a bowl of iced water for 1 minute until cool. Remove from the ice water, peel away the skin and cut into quarters. Remove and discard the seeds and roughly chop the flesh.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the peppers and stir for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Fry the aubergine until lightly browned all over, then remove from the pan.
4. Fry the courgette until browned, then return the onion, peppers and aubergine to the pan. Clear a space on the bottom of the pan and add the tomato and garlic purees and cook out for a minute.
5. Mix everything together before adding the chopped tomato, sugar, bay leaf, thyme and basil before covering and simmering gently for 15 minutes. Remove the bay, thyme and basil.
6. Taste and season.
To make the cod
1. Remove the cod from its packaging and pat dry with kitchen paper. Leave at room temperature for 10 minutes while you preheat a frying pan on a medium heat.
2. With the pan heated thoroughly drizzle in a tablespoon of cold pressed rapeseed oil. Season the skin of the cod with sea salt flakes and place skin -side down in the pan and leave for 4-5 minutes. Don’t be tempted to move the cod or the skin won’t crisp and it will stick to the pan. The heat needs to be set so it is hot enough to sear the skin while allowing it to cook skin-side down for ¾ of the total time, without burning.
3. As the flesh cooks it will appear firm and white. When the fish has cooked ¾ of the way up, flip it over and cook for another minute with a knob of butter and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Spoon the herb-infused butter over the cod as it cooks, then use your Thermapen to check the core temperature. For perfectly cooked fish the centre should read 60°C. Remove from the pan and serve with the ratatouille and salsa verde.
Read more from Richard’s Lockdown Menu: