Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cod with Kale, White Beans and Lemon Vinaigrette

This is Bill's favorite thing that I make, and tonight we actually made it together for the first time. (Favorite quote from the sous chef: "I made zest!") No picture, sadly, because we scarfed it down hot out of the pan. Originally this was a Union Square Cafe recipe, with radicchio and celery and leeks instead of the vegetables used here. (Both versions are included below.) I made it last New Year's Eve as part of a five course meal that changed our relationship, or at least marked a deep change in it. Since this dish is now part of our New Year's tradition, we're going to start making it with black-eyed peas instead of white beans. Black-eyed peas and greens for New Year's, but still "hoity toity" enough to appease Bill's champagne tastes -- who could have imagined it? The lemon vinaigrette is now a staple in our house; bright and fresh and good on everything.

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1 T finely chopped lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 T minced garlic
1 t kosher salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro

Cod and Bean Salad

2 cups cooked white beans or black eyed peas (1 can)
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups celery thinly sliced
2 cups leek rounds (white and light green parts only) washed well, and thinly sliced
(or substitute chopped yellow onions and 2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic)
3 heads radicchio, quartered, and leaves separated and cut in half OR an equal amount of chopped fresh kale
1/2 t kosher salt
1/4 t ground pepper
4 6-ounce cod filets
1 T flour
1 t garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Extra parsley or cilantro for garnish

1. Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar. Close and shake until emulsified. Set aside.
2. In a large saute pan, saute the vegetables in the olive oil over low heat until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to high, add the raddichio or kale, and cook until the leaves are wilted. Transfer vegetables to a bowl and toss with the beans and 1 cup of the vinaigrette, while still warm. Season with half of the salt and pepper. Set aside.
Season cod filets with the remaining salt, pepper and garlic powder. Dredge the filets in the flour. Heat the remaining 2 T olive oil in a saute pan. Cook filets over high heat until golden, 4 - 5 minutes per side. Arrange cod on a platter on top of the warm bean salad. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the cod and serve, garnished with parsley or cilantro.
Serves 4

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