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Thyme roast cod & panzanella salad

Thyme roast cod & panzanella salad

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • Easy
  • Serves 6

This elegant seafood supper of succulent white fish with a tomato, caper and crispy crouton salad makes an attractive dinner party main

Nutrition: per serving


  • 900g cod loin, skin removed, or 6 pieces of cod fillet
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 6 large thyme sprigs
  • 25g butter
  • juice 0.5 lemon

For the panzanella salad

  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 6 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 600g mixed heritage tomatoes , different colours and shapes
  • ½ tbsp flaky sea salt
  • 200g sourdough bread
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2 tbsp Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 3 tbsp small capers
  • ½ small bunch parsley , roughly chopped
  • large handful basil leaves , roughly chopped


  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Place the garlic bulb in the centre of a piece of foil. Spoon over 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, then scrunch the foil up around the bulb to make a parcel. Bake for 1 hr.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, dice the large tomatoes and cut any small ones in half. Tip into a bowl, sprinkle over the sea salt, toss together and set aside for half an hour.

  • STEP 3

    After the garlic bulb has been cooking for 40 mins, tear the sourdough into bite-sized pieces and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with 2 tbsp rapeseed oil, sprinkle with a little salt, then add the crushed garlic and toss everything together. Bake for 15 mins, stirring halfway through, until golden and crispy. Remove both the toasted croutons and garlic bulb from the oven and turn up to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  • STEP 4

    Once the tomatoes have wilted slightly, set a colander or sieve over a bowl and strain them, catching all the juices. Whisk the remaining oil, the vinegar and capers into the tomato juices. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic cloves from the bulb and whisk these in too. Taste and season.

  • STEP 5

    Cut the cod into 6 even pieces, season, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and leave for 10 mins. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick, ovenproof frying pan. Top each piece of cod with a sprig of thyme and place, thyme-side down, in the pan. Cook for 1-2 mins until the cod starts to colour. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 4-6 mins, depending on thickness.

  • STEP 6

    Meanwhile, mix the crispy croutons and tomatoes together in a bowl. Pour over the dressing, scatter with the parsley and basil, and toss everything together. Divide the salad between plates. When the cod is cooked, add the butter to the pan and let it melt. Squeeze in the lemon juice and baste the cod in the buttery juices. Turn the portions over to reveal the thyme-studded fish. Serve with the salad and some of the juices from the pan, then grind over a little black pepper.


You can roast the bulb of garlic and make the sourdough croutons the day before.


To cater for a vegetarian guest, keep a portion of the panzanella and crumble some vegetarian feta through it instead.


Panzanella is a salad that includes chunks of bread, which absorb some of the dressing and tomato juices. It works well with fish or barbecued meats. However, I’m not a fan of the traditionally soggy bread, so I keep my croutons crunchy by adding them at the last minute. 

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2015

Goes well with


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A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.7 ratings

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