Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean Cookery (1987), a well-thumbed volume in Granny’s cookbook collection, is the source of this recipe. Roden herself attributes it to an Egyptian hotel chef – the north African influence is evident in the raisin-almond garnish. The first time I remember making my own version was in Brantôme (Dordogne) in 1994: baby Sam and I were holidaying, sans Dom, with Toby, Georgia and Farmer and we needed a quick supper dish after a day at Rocamadour. It looks rather lovely and stylish but is actually incredibly simple to make; light and healthy too.
6 pieces cod loin (allow 150-200g per person)
3 large sprigs parsley
Salt & pepper
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 crushed cloves of garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
1-2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
1 large onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
Make the sauce and garnish first: throw all the sauce ingredients together in a pan, heat and simmer for 20 minutes. For the garnish, fry the onion in the oil on a low-ish heat for 10 minutes until just starting to brown. Add the almonds and stir to toast lightly for 2 minutes, then add the raisins for just one more minute. These last steps can be done just before serving. Otherwise, turn off the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180 (fan).
Find a baking tray large enough to hold all the cod in a single layer. Slosh it with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and lay the cod on top. Drizzle over some more oil, add a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper and place the parsley sprigs on top. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until just cooked through.
To serve, place a cod fillet on each plate and top with 3 tbsp tomato sauce, the garnish and a sprinkling of chopped parsley. So easy!