After returning home from a trip to Nice, France, I was inspired to recreate some of the savory tastes of "la cuisine niçoise" in my own kitchen. This simple cod provençal was simultaneously one of the easiest and most rewarding dishes I have ever cooked! My family raved over the tender, flaky white fish, baked to perfection, and the hearty (but still light!) sauce of tomatoes, capers, olives, and fresh herbs. If you want to impress a crowd with your French cooking prowess and yet still have an extra hour to get ready, I enthusiastically recommend this 5-star dish.
This recipe hails from the southern French region of Provence, pictured above. (!!!)
4 cod filets, 6 to 8 oz each
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. olive oil
28 oz. can tomatoes, drained
1 tbsp. capers
1/4 fresh basil
8 black Greek olives, pitted
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. oregano (dried or fresh)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1.) First, preheat the oven to 450°F. Arrange the filets in an 8-in. square baking dish. Then it's time to practice your knife skills: dice the onion; mince the garlic; and roughly chop the basil.
2.) In a medium-sized pan, sauté the onion and garlic over a medium flame until slightly softened (3 to 5 minutes). Then, add tomatoes, capers, basil, olives, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes.
3.) Spoon the sauce over the fish. Bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through. I found that 10 minutes of baking time was perfect!