Casual Elegance: Steamed Cod on Kale

I'm always surprised that it can take very little work to put something special on the table. This meal is healthy and dead simple to prepare on a weeknight but is elegant enough to serve to guests.

Fish makes people nervous. Certainly, figuring out what fish is sustainable can be tricky. Luckily there are a couple good resources at your fingertips. Ocean Wise and Seafood Watch are two valuable sites that list which fish is best, so be sure to do your research before you hit your local fish markets. The other worry is that fish is tricky to prepare. Relax, because this dish couldn't be simpler. Really!

I used wild line-caught cod but any sustainable white fish fillet will do. The fish steams on a bed of greens and I used tender dinosaur kale, but curly kale or chard or even spinach would be so nice here. For the liquid, I used a mix of white wine and vegetable broth, but if all you've got is water, then go for it! The meal doesn't require a lot of prep - just chop up the onions, garlic and kale, season your fish and steam away! I served this over couscous which cooks very quickly, but roasted potatoes or rice would be fine sides as well. A fantastic dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes? Totally.

Steamed Cod on Kale
(adapted from Mark Bittman)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped - tough stems removed
1/2 - 3/4 cup vegetable stock, fish broth, or white wine
salt & pepper
1 large line-caught cod fillet (or any other sustainable white fish of your choice)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 lemon

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in the garlic and onions and let them sweat until they turn soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add in the kale and 1/2 cup of liquid and let simmer over low heat for a few minutes. Add more liquid, if required.

Meanwhile, season your fish with salt and pepper and slice fillet into serving-size pieces. Layer fish over the kale, cover and let steam for 5 minutes. Dot fish with butter, and re-cover until fish is fully cooked - another 2-5 minutes more. Squeeze lemon over top of fish and serve over rice, couscous or your favorite grain.

Jan Halvarson


Jan Halvarson said...

this looks yummy!

and thanks for those links - good to have access to.

Kate said...

I used to always bake fish, but not too long ago discovered a great recipe calling for steaming it and I haven't looked back since! I have a great recipe for salmon where you stir-fry julienned leeks and carrots until they're basically caramelized and then steam fish on top. Heaven!

chirpypig said...

I just made this dish in a clay pot. It tastes really nice!

Bijoux said...

Looks great! I love cod fish! It's too bad we're landlocked here and can't get fresh fish as readily so I but frozen instead. Trying to buy sustainable fish here is like looking for the Bermuda Triangle. Only a select few places offer sustainable fish and boy oh boy is it expensive.