Makes 4 servings
Eric: We call this niçoise because it uses a lot of the ingredients from the salade niçoise. It's very colorful and flavorful. For an extra treat, add garlic to the basil oil.
Maguy: This is my favorite recipe to prepare, and I do it with any thick fish steak, not just cod. I always impress my guests, and I'm sure you can prepare niçoise as well as I do.
4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves,
plus 12 large leaves thinly sliced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium-size ripe tomatoes,
peeled, seeded,and cut into 3/4 inch dice
1 teaspoon barely chopped drained capers
8 oil-cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
Fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
6 medium-size red bliss potatoes
1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed off
2 tablespoons corn oil
4 (7-ounce) cod fillets, 1-1/2 inches thick
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1. One day ahead, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Put the 4 cups of basil in the boiling water; and when the water returns to a boil, quickly drain and plunge the basil into a bowl of ice water. When cold, drain and squeeze out the excess water. Finely chop the basil with a knife. Place it in a bowl and mix in 1 cup of olive oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Strain and bring to room temperature before serving.
2. Put the tomatoes, capers, olives, and anchovy in a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
3. Meanwhile, bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they're tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and run cold water over them. Peel and cut them into 1/4 inch-wide slices. Set aside.
4. Bring a separate pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the green beans until they're crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain again and set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees F. Divide the corn oil between the 2 skillets. Place over high heat until the oil is just smoking. Season the cod on both sides with salt and pepper. Put 2 cod fillets in each skillet and sauté' until the fish is golden brown and crusted on the bottom, about 2-1/2 minutes. Turn and sear the other side for 30 seconds. Put the pans in the oven and roast for about 7 minutes, until a metal skewer can be easily inserted into the fish and, when left in for 5 seconds, feels hot when touched to your lip.
6. Meanwhile, put the water and the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and whisk until the butter is melted. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Reheat, being careful not to break the slices. Add the green beans and warm through, about 2 minutes.
7. Arrange the potatoes and green beans in a single layer in the center of 4 dinner plates. Lay the cod over the top. Spoon the tomato mixture around the potatoes. Spoon the basil oil over the tomato mixture, to cover the plates. Drizzle the vinegar into the oil and scatter the sliced basil over all. Serve immediately.
Le Bernardin Cookbook:
By Maguy Le Coze and Eric Ripert
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created December 1998
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