Cod with a Warm Salad of Lentils and Mojama
The earthiness of the lentils really works well with the cod in this soothing, wintry dish. For a more summery version you can serve the lentils cold with a little squeeze of lemon juice. Cod stocks have been severely depleted over the years, but there are still sustainable cod fisheries out there. Look for the MSC label to guarantee the source.
|1||large onion, peeled and halved|
|8||bay leaves, fresh if possible|
|1||bulb of fennel, cut into quarters|
|1||small bunch of fresh thyme, stalks tied together|
|4||fillets of cod (about 180-200g each), skin on|
|Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|2||large shallots, peeled and finely diced|
|½||a bulb of fennel, finely chopped|
|5 tbsp||Moscatel vinegar|
|20||fresh mint leaves, finely sliced|
|50g||mojama, very thinly sliced|
Put the lentils, onion, bay leaves, quartered fennel and thyme into a large pan and add 4 litres of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain the lentils, then remove the onion, fennel, thyme and bay leaves and discard.
In a heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan heat 50ml of olive oil until it is just beginning to smoke. Add the cod fillets to the pan, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the fillets over, season again and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for a couple of minutes in a warm place.
While the cod is cooking, finish the lentils. Heat 25ml of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan until it is just beginning to smoke. Add the shallots and the finely chopped fennel and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over a medium heat. Do not let the vegetables colour. Add the lentils and heat through, then remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 25ml of oil and the Moscatel vinegar. Add the mint and season well with salt and pepper.
Put the lentils into a serving dish and place the cod on top, drizzling over any juices. Arrange the mojama on top of the cod and serve.