Cod with Grapefruit, Avocado, and Fennel Salad
Photo Credit: Ben Fink
At the end of the year, eating is usually about indulgence–the extra glass of eggnog, the thick slice of prime rib, giving into midnight Christmas cookie cravings. When I want something lighter as an antidote, I think fish, and particularly this easy recipe for sweet, flaky cod with a refreshing salad of tart grapefruit, buttery avocado, and crisp fennel. It is simple enough for a weeknight meal, but special enough for company.
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 ripe Hass avocado, cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 pink or red grapefruit, peeled, cut between the membranes into segments
- Four 5-to 6-ounce portions skinless cod fillet
- kosher alt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- To prepare the salad: Cut the fennel in half lengthwise. If the fronds are attached, cut them off and reserve. Cut out and discard the triangular core at the base of the bulb. Cut one fennel half crosswise into thin half-moons. Reserve the remaining fennel half and stalks and for another use.
- Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, and vegetable oil together in a medium bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fennel, avocado, and grapefruit and mix gently. Set aside while preparing the cod.
- Season the cod with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cod and cover. Cook until the undersides are golden, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook, uncovered, adjusting the heat as needed, until the other side is golden brown and the cod looks barely opaque when flaked in the center with the tip of a knife, about 3 minutes more.
- Place a fish fillet and a portion of the salad on each of 4 dinner plates. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds, if using, and serve immediately.
Note: I personally find extra-virgin olive oil alone to be too heavy for this dish.
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