Giorgio Locatelli’s cod, parsley sauce and lentils

Giorgio Locatelli’s cod, parsley sauce and lentils
  • Serves icon Serves 4 with leftover dressing
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour, plus soaking

We asked Giorgio Locatelli to share an Italian recipe to best show off the charms of the much-loved cuisine. His cod recipe, with lots of fresh seasonal vegetables, is an impressive meal for four.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
1,055kcals
Fat
69.9g (18.7g saturated)
Protein
64.9g
Carbohydrates
35.8g (5.8g sugars)
Fibre
11.8g
Salt
2.2g
Calories
1,055kcals
Fat
69.9g (18.7g saturated)
Protein
64.9g
Carbohydrates
35.8g (5.8g sugars)
Fibre
11.8g
Salt
2.2g

Ingredients

  • 4 thick skinless cod fillets, about 220g each
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 50g unsalted butter, diced

For the lentils

  • 250g brown or green lentils (preferably castelluccio)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, finely chopped
  • 100g piece unsmoked pancetta
  • Fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Small bunch fresh sage
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • Small handful fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 50g unsalted butter, diced

For the parsley sauce

  • Small bunch fresh parsley
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil for the salad dressing (makes 375ml) 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 300ml extra-virgin olive oil

For the broccoli & almond salad 

  • 1 broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil (see tips)
  • ½ tbsp garlic oil (see tips)
  • 1 red chilli, cut into fine strips
  • 1 green chilli, cut into fine strips
  • 100g whole blanched almonds: toast in a dry pan, then roughly chop 25g (keep the rest whole)

You’ll also need…

  • Kitchen string to tie the herbs
  • Bowl of iced water for the broccoli

Method

  1. For the lentils: put in a medium bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 30 minutes, then drain.
  2. Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, leek and the pancetta. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the veg are soft but not coloured.
  3. Tie the rosemary, bay leaves and sage together with string and add to the pan with the lentils. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until the lentils start to stick to the base of the pan. Don’t season at this point, as salt will make the lentils harden.
  4. Add around a litre of vegetable stock (enough to cover the lentils by 2cm) and keep the rest hot on the hob in case you need it. Bring the pan to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes until the lentils are soft, adding more stock if they get too dry. Remove and discard the pancetta (see tips) and herbs, then set aside; keep the stock warm.
  5. For the parsley sauce, put the bunch of parsley and 100ml olive oil in a mini food processor and pulse to a green sauce (or pound in a pestle and mortar or finely chop by hand).
  6. For the dressing, put the salt in a bowl, then add the vinegars and stir to dissolve the salt. Whisk in the olive oil and 4 tbsp cold water until the mixture emulsifies (see make ahead).
  7. For the salad, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of the florets. Drain, then put into iced water to stop the broccoli cooking and keep its bright colour.
  8. Drain the broccoli and dry on kitchen paper. Put the chilli oil and garlic oil (see tips) in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the broccoli and toss to warm, then put in a serving dish and toss with the chilli strips and 25ml of the dressing. Scatter over all the almonds.
  9. Season the fish well. Heat 2 non-stick frying pans (or use one large pan) and divide the vegetable oil between them. When smoking hot, put in the fish fillets, skin-side down; press them down with a fish slice and check underneath every now and then – the skin should turn crisp and golden. The flesh will begin to turn opaque in 4-5 minutes. When it’s white almost all the way through, turn the fish over. Add the butter to the pan(s).
  10. When the butter is foaming, put the lentils back on the heat. They should have a risotto consistency, so if necessary add a bit of the reserved hot stock or drain off some liquid. Add the chopped parsley and stir in the butter. Season.
  11. Spoon the lentils onto the plates. Tilt the fish pan(s) towards you so you can spoon the buttery juices over the fish, then put a piece on top of each serving of lentils. Drizzle with the parsley sauce, then serve with the broccoli salad. 

delicious. tips

  1. If you don’t want to discard the pancetta (step 4), slice it up and serve with the lentils.

    No chilli/garlic oil? Fry a pinch of chilli flakes and chopped garlic in olive oil as a substitute.

  2. Make the lentils up to 24 hours ahead, cover and chill. Heat as in the recipe.

    Store the dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 months. Shake well before using.

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