Summer never tasted so good. With sunny, lemon zest and savory, roasted pistachios, this dish reminds me of dinners we often enjoy when it doesn’t get dark until 9:00 pm. Our shoulders glow under our tans and we’ve long kicked off our Havaianas preferring bare feet to deliver chips and salsa to share back in the pool. Music plays… maybe some old school Brazilian bossa and samba. And then there’s always UB40 and Bob Marley. I’m partial to Michael Franti & Spearhead’s “Say Hey (I Love You)”. I hear that and I’m a dancin’ fool. You should listen to it. It’s a happy, little song. Anyway, this dish satisfies and fills you up yet remains light. Served on top of a smidgen quinoa or farro, with a few roasted vegetables on the side, you’ve got yourself a pretty, little show horse to trot out for friends and family. I learned to appreciate fresh cod through my husband, a New Englander, through and through. As they say in My Cousin Vinnie, “Hey, li’l Yankee boy!” I grew up in Puerto Rico eating salt cod with root vegetables. I believe all y’all readers already know Mama didn’t cook, didn’t know how, and well, to be kind, she just did awful things to fish fresh off the hook. In our strict Catholic household, Fridays were the stuff of nightmares. I kid you not. So when Jimmy offered to cook dinner and announced he’d be making Boston Cod… let’s simply say I had high hopes we’d be having a few sides. I was completely sold after my first bite. 30 years later I’m still loving it, though I’ve tweaked his recipe a bit… okay, a lot. We don’t often see cod in the seafood stores here in south Florida but Fresh Market carries it and when on sale I pounce. I buy 4 pounds and ask the fishmonger to bundle them in two pound packages, one for that day and one freezer wrapped to throw in the freezer for another time. Fresh cod is sweet, white and mild, similar to grouper and snapper. It’s firm but not like swordfish which can so quickly overcook and dry out. The pistachio lemon crust is scary good. When you taste it for salt and pepper you’re going to want to eat the whole container. Jus’ sayin’. You’re going to love this recipe so the next time you see fresh cod, snatch it up and make this!
Pistachio Lemon Crusted Cod
- 2 pounds fresh cod filets
- 1 cup roasted, shelled pistachios
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400°. Cover a 9X13-inch baking dish lightly with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
- In a small blender or food processor, place pistachios, bread crumbs, lemon zest, and garlic. Process until contents are in large crumbles.
- Add olive oil and process for 2-3 seconds. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Place fish in baking dish and cover completely with pistachio mixture, gently patting on filets.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately.