Weeknight Cooking

Roast Cod with Little Tomatoes and Assorted Olives

October 11, 2010

Roast Cod with Little Tomatoes and Assorted Olives

- Jenny

Here in my new mid-Atlantic town, I am trying to form meaningful relationships with different types of fish. Cod, for instance, was not something I was used to cooking out west, but in the spirit of buying what the fishmonger has (and having a deep fear of cooking mussels at home) I turned to Roast Cod with Little Tomatoes and Assorted Olives.

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This dish also let me take advantage of all the pretty tomatoes that remain in the market, which I am inclined to buy too many of each week in a futile attempt to keep the cooler mornings and increasingly-silver night skies at bay.

This dish also falls under the category of dinners that you can begin right after walking in the door –- in this case by tossing your oil-dabbed tomatoes in the oven while you tend to other things, including chopping up your garlic, taking off your work costume and pulling on sweatpants and calling out things like “Who would like to empty the dishwasher?” and receiving no answer.

You will note that wingirls has you roasting the tomatoes at a fairly high temperature for 25 minutes; I think if you had time you might want to do them lower and longer but this does get the job done. Once you toss your fish in, I think you should put the herbs on, as well, (I used basil and thyme) rather than using them to finish the dish as she suggests.

Cod is like dinner conversation –- it really steps up the game if you can add a zinger to it. Olives fill that role nicely here, a burst of saline tang, joined by tomatoes busting out of their skins as you bite down. If you’re feeling especially under stimulated, add some red pepper flakes.

Roast Cod with Little Tomatoes and Assorted Olives

By wingirls

Serves 4

  • 1/1/2 -2 pound cod
  • 1 pound assorted grape and cherry tomatoes - different colors work beautifully
  • 30 Assorted Olives, kalamata and nicoise work well together
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 handful chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, mint and oregano work well)
  • 1 cup chicken stock - depending
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and toss with garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast on the lowest rack for 25 minutes.
3. While the tomatoes are cooking, cut the fish into 4 equal sized pieces, rinse and pat dry.
4. Remove the tomatoes from the  oven, nestle the fish into the tomatoes and their juices, scatter the olives and return to the oven for about 25 minutes but of course this depends on the thickness of the fish.
5. Test for doneness -- the cod should separate easily and be JUST opaque. Remove from the oven.
6. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the last 2 tablespoons of olive oil all over. Serve hot with quinoa, couscous or crusty bread.
7. Extra note -- the juiciness of the tomatoes can vary -- when adding the fish, if the tomatoes are not seeping, add 1 cup of chicken stock to the dish.
By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.

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Jara August 21, 2014
Made this tonight. I used a bit of white wine instead of the stock and skipped the olives. Instead, I served it with green beans with tapenade. Nice quick dinner and great way to use lots of garden tomatoes.
FeastontheCheap October 18, 2010
This looks absolutely gorgeous. I cannot wait to try it - love the mix of sweet, salty and savory. And I've never met an olive I didn't like...
Stacey S. October 17, 2010
Yes, I use the little cherry tomatoes, red and yellow from my garden and they get nice and shriveled and juicy! I add olives and thyme or whatever herb I have in the garden.
Sometimes I thinly slice potatoes and add them to the top and they get nice and crispy.
It's my favorite weeknight easy dinner.
You inspired me tonight for Sunday dinner!
Stacey S. October 17, 2010
I have made this many times as a weeknight easy dinner.
Love it!
I don't roast the tomatoes first, but throw them in with the fish and roast them together.
In fact, I have it in the oven with fresh caught black bass right now!
Great photos!
Jestei October 17, 2010
interesting technique do the tomatoes get nice and juicy still?
mariaraynal October 14, 2010
"This dish also falls under the category of dinners that you can begin right after walking in the door –- in this case by tossing your oil-dabbed tomatoes in the oven while you tend to other things, including chopping up your garlic, taking off your work costume and pulling on sweatpants and calling out things like “Who would like to empty the dishwasher?” and receiving no answer."

See, it's paragraphs like this one that make your column a must-read for me, Jenny. Love it.

Jestei October 17, 2010
i heart you! and glad you were drunkenly cooking!!!!!!
mariaraynal October 14, 2010
My cooking improved dramatically when I started adding wine. Or was that drinking wine. Well, either way, it got better : )
mariaraynal October 15, 2010
Ok, that comment was supposed to go below the comments re: wine. I wasn't drinking and posting, promise!
cheese1227 October 13, 2010
It works well with haddock too. I had some oil and chili cure olives I through in. Lovely.
cheese1227 October 13, 2010
Wow. Should have checked that sentence before I hit submit. I meant "oil and chili cured olives that I threw in". I had some wine too!
Jestei October 13, 2010
that sounds great. i love all the variations people are coming up with here!
mklug October 13, 2010
Looks delish--the fish at our local market looks a bit dubious, but as soon as some show up that look ok, this is what I'll be making! And, as usual Jenny, I love how you write--you're so good at summoning a feeling (which I am clearly not good at; I can't explain what I love about how you write).
Jestei October 13, 2010
that is so nice! THANK YOU. my little blog makes me happy because i get to convene with this great community. i would not get too hopped up about cod, i am sure this would work well with any sort of plain jane fish.
pierino October 12, 2010
This dish sounds wonderful. For the West Coast types I would think about possibly using sablefish, sometimes sold as "black cod". But I have to add that mussels are one of the best and most sustainable forms of shellfish aquaculture.So fear not unless you are picking them up off the beach or something. I much prefer locally raised mussels to those big hairy green lip things from New Zealand.
Jestei October 13, 2010
i just don't feel confident about cooking them. how about halibut for this?
mrslarkin October 12, 2010
I'm always on the lookout for new easy fish recipes. This sounds great. I may have to play around with an olive substitute to make it more family friendly. Maybe pearl onions?
Jestei October 12, 2010
one thing is to simply only put olives on half and give the kids the non-speckled portion
drbabs October 12, 2010
My husband doesn't eat olives, so I just added them to my portion after I served him his and it was fine. I'm sure it would have been better if I had cooked them all together, but really it was very good.
Pam D. October 11, 2010
My husband made this for dinner tonight - it was great! He used end of season tomatoes from our garden (not cherries), and fresh thyme and oregano. Served with rice. We'll definitely have this again.
Jestei October 12, 2010
yum that sounds great i bet you could even use canned in the winter
drbabs October 11, 2010
I just made this for dinner. So easy and we really enjoyed it. I used oregano, basil and rosemary, and as Jenny suggests, I put the herbs in at the same time as the fish. And my tomatoes were a little dry, but instead of adding chicken broth, I added about 1/2 cup of sauvignon blanc that I had on hand. A really great, easy, delicious weeknight meal. Thank you, Jenny, for discovering it! And thank you, wingirls, for posting it.
Jestei October 12, 2010
i think the wine idea is a great wine i am going to do this next time
drbabs October 12, 2010
Don't you think most things are better with wine?
Rivka October 11, 2010
This is absurdly belated, but welcome to DC! We should really throw a shindig together. Mrs. Wheelbarrow, what do you think? (Where are the @s and #s where you need'em?)
Jestei October 12, 2010
yes all for it and send me your email
swshipman October 11, 2010
Brilliant. Am going to try it tonight.
Jestei October 12, 2010
how did it work out?
mcs3000 October 11, 2010
It's like you know what's in my frig! One less dinner to plan.
Jestei October 12, 2010
I hope you enjoy it!