Roasted cod with a coriander crust
The cookbook I've probably cooked most from this year is Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley's fabulous Falastin which is all about the food of Sami's Palestinian childhood together with some more contemporary recipes of which this is one.
"The combination of fish and tahini is one we find hard to resist, but this works just as well without the tahini sauce if you’re looking for a shortcut or want to keep the focus on the lemon. Either way, this is as close to fast food as you can get. It’s a 15-minute meal to make, beginning to end. Possibly even less time to eat.
If you are using the tahini sauce, make the whole quantity below. . It keeps in the fridge for about 4 days and is lovely to have around to drizzle over all sorts of roasted vegetables, meat, fish and salads."
Playing around: Any other meaty white fish works just as well here: sea bass and halibut, for example. Salmon also works well.
Roasted cod with a coriander crust
Samak mashew bil cozbara w al limon
60ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
50g coriander, finely chopped
2 1/2 tsp fish spice mix (see below)
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
4 large cod loin (or another sustainably sourced white fish), skin on (about 700g)
4 large fresh bay leaves (optional)
2 lemons: cut one into 8 very thin slices, and quarter the other lengthways, into wedges, to serve
About 4 tbsp/65g tahini sauce (optional) (see below), to serve
Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 250°C fan
Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a small saucepan and place on a medium-low heat. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 10 seconds, then add the coriander, fish spice mix, chilli flakes, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a grind of black pepper.
Cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently, for the garlic to really soften, then remove from the heat.
Place the cod in a parchment-lined roasting dish, skin side down, and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper then spoon the coriander mix on top of each fillet. Spread it out so that the whole top is covered, then top each one with a bay leaf, if using, along with 2 slices of lemon. Roast for 7–8 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
Serve at once, with about a tablespoon of tahini sauce drizzled over, if using, and a wedge of lemon alongside.
Fish spice mix
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground turmeric
Place all the spices in a bowl and mix well to combine. If making more than you need transfer to a sealed container where it will keep for a month
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
Mix together all the ingredients along with 120ml of water and 1/4 tsp salt. If it is too runny add a bit more tahini. If it is too thick, add a bit more lemon juice or water. You want the consistency to be like that of a smooth, runny nut butter. It will thicken up when left to sit around so just give it a stir and some more lemon juice or water every time you use it. It keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.
What to drink: Any crisp dry white such as Picpoul de Pinet or an albarino will work
Extracted from FALASTIN: A COOKBOOK by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley (Ebury Press, £27) Photography by Jenny Zarins.
I paired one of Sami and Tara's other recipes - lamb koftas with tahini - in my Match of the Week slot
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