We’re attempting to eat healthier around our house. Oh, Richard and I still revisit old-fashioned family meals like fried chicken and meatloaf, especially when our grandsons come for a weekend supper, but we don’t eat like we used to. We don’t sit down to big evening meals anymore. That’s okay.
So now, I look for recipes that include fish and chicken cooked with lots of fresh vegetables seasoned with lemon, garlic, fresh herbs, and the like. Tons of flavor in our dishes help us from missing the good old days.
Pan Seared Cod with Tomatoes, Onions, & Capers is the perfect evening meal. It’s light, and extremely well flavored with capers, lemon, garlic, and white wine.
I like to use thicker pieces of cod rather than the flat filets I’d use for fish and chips. (Yeah, sometimes we cheat and eat fried fish. It’s fish, right?) Or you could substitute haddock, pollack, striped bass, hake, mahi-mahi, or grouper. Any firm and flaky white fish will work. When you open the fish from the market, be sure to pat it dry. You want as much moisture removed so the filets sear and brown nicely and don’t steam.
I usually throw in 4-6 ounces of cook pasta into the finished sauce, preferably linguine, just to round out the meal. I like the flavor of capers, but you could substitute pitted kalamata olives cut in half. Fresh cherry tomatoes sliced in half or a can of drained petite cut tomatoes, either one will work in the sauce.
Besides being on the lighter side, this dish is quick, quick, quick. 30 minutes and supper is on the table. Can’t beat that.
Here’s a Tip!
Whenever you cook a quick meal like this one, have all your ingredients ready to go before you begin. I pat the fish dry, spray the fillets with cooking spray, season the fish with salt and pepper, and set aside while you get everything else ready. I used cooked leftover pasta I had in the fridge. My lemon zest was ready. The canned tomatoes were drained. The onion was sliced and the garlic was minced. I heated the pan. Delicious in no time at all. Most importantly, nothing was overcooked.
Let’s get cookin’, shall we?
- 1 pound fresh cod. May substitute any firm, flaky white fish.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium sweet yellow onion, halved and cut into slices
- 1 15oz. can of petite diced tomatoes, drained. Or substitute one cup fresh cherry tomatoes cut in half
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 Tablespoons capers. May substitute ⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives sliced in half
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 4-6 ounces of cooked pasta, preferably linguine
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, zest of one lemon, chopped flat-leafed parsley as garnish.
- Pat fish dry with paper towel. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add fish to skillet and cook until one side of the fish is golden brown. 5 minutes. Gently flip fish and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove fish from skillet to a plate. Cover with aluminum foil. Set aside in 200F oven to keep warm.
- Add sliced onion to skillet and cook over medium heat until translucent and lightly browned. Add minced garlic. Stir and continue to cook until garlic is fragrant. 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add white wine and simmer until slightly reduced.
- Add tomatoes, lemon juice, and capers. Cook until sauce has slightly thickened.
- Add pasta. Using tongs, toss the pasta until it is covered with the sauce.
- To serve, remove pasta from sauce to serving plate reserving the sauce in the skillet. Place fish on another or same serving plate. Top fish with remaining sauce in skillet. Sprinkle with freshly grated lemon zest, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh parsley or basil, if desired.