Cod Provençal

Cod Provençal

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 25 mins

More effort

Serves 2
Gordon cooks a one-pan dish for two that has all the flavours of the sun-drenched south of France

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal633
  • fat42g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre8g
  • protein45g
  • salt5.33g


  • 2 cod fillets, skin on, each weighing about 175g, see box, far right



    A popular mild-flavoured saltwater fish mainly found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Cod…

  • 1 tsp coarse salt flakes
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 2 fennel bulbs
    Fennel bulb

    Fennel bulb

    Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate – its strong aniseed…

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 350g very ripe cherry tomato, halved
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • handful pitted black olives
  • 1 tbsp caper in brine, drained
    Capers in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • small handful each lemon thyme, oregano and basil leaves, with a few smal basil leaves kept aside



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 20 marinated anchovy fillets, roughly chopped



    Silver, slender salty little fish found mainly around the Black Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic…


  1. Neatly trim the cod fillets. Score the skin of each fillet 3-4 times at regular intervals. Lay the fish in a shallow dish and sprinkle both sides of the fillets with the salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Set aside or chill overnight, see box, far right.

  2. Deseed and finely slice the peppers, then finely grate the garlic and lemon zest over the peppers. Carefully slice the fennel on a mandolin, or as finely as possible with a sharp knife, then tip half the fennel into a bowl of iced water and set aside.

  3. Brush the salt off the fish or, if it has dissolved, wipe the brine off with kitchen paper. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large non-stick pan, cook the fish, skin side down, for 4 mins until the skin is crisp and browned, then remove from the pan.

  4. Put 1 tbsp more oil into the pan. Fry the fennel and the marinated peppers together for 4-5 mins until soft and starting to brown. Throw in the tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar, then continue to cook for 2-3 mins until they soften and release their juices. Scatter over the olives, capers and herbs, then toss everything together.

  5. Nestle the fish fillets, skin side up, among the vegetables, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 mins until the fish is just cooked through. Lift the fish from the pan and give the sauce a final simmer and stir, then turn off the heat. This dish is better served warm rather than hot, so don’t worry about the vegetables or fish resting before you serve.

  6. Drain the reserved fennel and pat dry with kitchen paper. Toss with the juice from half the grated lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil and the anchovies. To serve, spoon the vegetables into the middle of two large dinner plates. Sit the cod, skin side up, on top of the vegetables and top with a neat bundle of fennel salad. Drizzle everything with a touch more oil, then scatter with the small basil leaves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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28th Aug, 2014
Why bother buying all the ingredients. Just buy a jar of Tesco Finest Puttanesca Pasta Sauce, heat it, then put cod fillets in until flaky. Delicious. The Puttanesca sauce has all the same ingredients (except the anchovies) and is delicious. No need for all the extra messing about.
10th Apr, 2014
my all-time favorite dish! this is simply delectable! i normally season the cod fillet (halibut or pollack fillet work just as well) with salt and pepper just 10-15 minutes before cooking and the dish tastes just as delish! when i'm running out of cooking ideas, i already go back to this recipe! highly recommended to seafood lovers like me!
6th Aug, 2011
this was really nice. I think the recipe for the vegatables and sauce would be enough for 4 people as it makes quite a lot. especially as i served it with new potatoes as well. i will defo make this agian. maybe next time for a dinner party as it was so yummy!
1st Sep, 2010
Just cooked this tonight - didn't do the fennel salad to go on the top of the fish but very much enjoyed the flavours in the main dish, lovely and fresh, punchy and aromatic. Will probably cook again! I think the veg would go with most fish, chicken, and possibly pork or lamb. Thumbs up.
20th Apr, 2010
Excellent. Really enjoyed this recipe. Might try less anchovies as I found them a bit over-powering. Will try this with the preserved anchovies but put them in the sauce. Only used 1 fennel bulb and found this was sufficient.
28th Aug, 2009
Cooked this for a family meal and is now a firm favourite. So easy to do. I bleneded some of the veg and juices to make a chuncky salsa to put ontop of the fish YUM!!
11th Jun, 2008
Yum - i can't eat white fish so had with Tuna. the fennel wasn't too overpowering which was good. made for 4 people so doubled the quantity, needn't have, what he suggests for 2 would have been plenty. cooked on the barbie gas ring so was good entertainment! defo would cook again
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