Dark-green Puy lentils, grown in the south of France, have a unique, peppery flavor that is enhanced by chile. They do not disintegrate during cooking and their texture is a perfect complement for the flakiness of fresh cod. Serve this cod with spicy Puy lentils dish with warm crusty bread.
Preheat the broiler to medium-high. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, leeks, and chiles, and sauté 2 minutes.
Stir in the lentils. Add the vegetable stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. If the lentils have not absorbed all the stock, drain them (you can use the excess stock to make a soup).
Meanwhile, prepare the cod. Stir together the remaining oil, the lemon juice, and cayenne. Lay the cod in the broiler pan, skinned side up. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and brush with the oil mixture. Broil until the flesh flakes easily, 6 to 7 minutes: There is no need to turn the fish over.
Divide the spicy Puy lentils between warm plates and arrange the pieces of cod on top. Serve with lemon wedges.
Some More Ideas:
For Cod with Mustard Lentils, cook the lentils as in the main recipe, omitting the chiles. Mix 125 g fromage blanc or crème fraîche with 1 to 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and stir into the cooked Puy lentils. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard over the seasoned cod, drizzle with olive oil, and broil. Serve the cod on top of the lentils, garnished with broiled cherry tomatoes.
Hake, halibut, or salmon can be used instead of cod.
White fish, such as cod, is low in calories. Frying it in batter more than doubles the calorie content, whereas brushing it with a little oil and broiling it keeps the fat and therefore the calories within healthy levels.
Lentils, which are small seeds from a variety of leguminous plants, are classified as legumes, but unlike other legumes they do not need to be soaked before cooking. Lentils are a good source of protein, starch, dietary fibre, and B vitamins. Iron absorption from lentils is poor, but vitamin C-rich foods, such as the lemon juice in this recipe, can improve this process considerably.
Thyme has been used as an antiseptic since Greek and Roman times.
Per serving: calories 324, protein 38 g, fat 7.5 g (of which saturated fat 1 g), carbohydrate 26 g (of which sugars 6 g), fibre 3 g