Baked Cod with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

Try this light, Mediterranean-inspired baked cod recipe. Decorated with Mediterranean essentials such as kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes, this cod recipe is a lovely centerpiece for a summer feast.

In a previous chapter of my life, I was a fishmonger.  At first, in a supermarket, but after college, I was a buyer, cutter, and purveyor at a small family-owned fish market.  Even though I grew up by the ocean, it wasn’t until then that I began to enjoy eating fish.

That is when I learned what really good fish should taste like. I learned American style cod recipes as well as many Mediterranean Diet recipes. If you are lucky enough to have a local fish market near you, I suggest paying them a visit before you settle for what is offered at the fish counter in your average grocery store.

A fresh cod fillet should be glistening and firm with no odor at all.  Ask about it.  A knowledgeable and trustworthy fishmonger will happily indulge your curiosity.

For this recipe, I like to find a large fillet because it presents nicely when displayed in an attractive baking dish. You can fold the thin tail piece under to adjust the length and to even out the cooking a bit.  It’s not always easy to find a large fillet, but don’t worry… two laid out side by side will work nicely.  Work with what you have, but pick the better fish rather than fret over the size of the fillet.

I reverse-engineered this recipe after ordering the dish at Pera Mediterranean Bistro in Williamstown, MA.  In it’s most distilled form, beside the fish, the ingredients include olives, sun-dried tomato, pepperoncini, basil, feta and of course, good olive oil.

I’ve added some ingredients here, and I encourage you to improvise with whatever you have that fits the palette of flavor created by these condiments.  I’ve included artichoke hearts, onions, roasted red peppers, and capers all to good effect but limit the variety.  Any number of fresh vegetable sides and starches pair well with this light and fresh main dish.

When the oven is preheated, you can ask a special person to assist you or invite everyone to help decorate the fillet as a symbolic contribution to the meal.

I hope you enjoy!

Mediterranean Diet Weight Loss Plan

Baked Cod with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 6
Calories 256 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds Fresh Cod fillet
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 12 ounces package of fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, sliced
  • 8 large pepperoncini, sliced
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 3 small dried hot peppers or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 bunch fresh herbs (parsley, dill, basil... any combination of what you like)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then pour olive oil into your favorite baking dish that fits the size of your fillet. Take a handful of the baby spinach and smooth the oil around the surfaces of the dish then add the rest of the spinach to form a fluffy bed for your fish.
  • Lay out your fillet (or fillets if you could not find a single large one) on the spinach bed lengthwise in the dish, skin-side down. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste, then drizzle with olive oil.
  • What happens next can be enjoyed with guests... Decorate the fish fillet with the slices of olives, sun-dried tomatoes, pepperoncini and optionally the pine nuts. Break open and add the dried hot pepper or sprinkle with pepper flakes. Enjoy this part of the process. You don't want to cover all the surface of the fish, just decorate it in patterns. If you have small pepperoncini, you might add those whole.
  • Fresh herb finale! Chop the fresh herbs or tear into pieces then sprinkle it liberally over the fish. If the oven is ready, or when it is, pop it in uncovered! Set timer for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes take the dish out of the oven. Crumble the feta evenly over the fish and return to the oven.
  • Check again in 5 to 10 minutes depending on how much cooking you think the fish needs. Note: less is more. I like when my cod is white along the edges but translucent in the center of the fillet... firm and juicy. When you take the fish out of the oven, you can cool it on the dinner table for a few more minutes which means it will keep cooking.
  • Serve family style from the dinner table with some fun serving instruments so that everyone can get a nice piece of fish, wilted greens, and as much condiment and broth that is desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 24gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 371mgPotassium: 990mgFiber: 3gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 6405IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 129mgIron: 3mg
Keyword seafood
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: Gerry LeBlanc
Gerry is an award-winning Web developer with skills in scripting languages, database development and user interface design. Gerry operates his own Web development firm, GerryLeBlanc.com. Ten years prior experience in the newspaper industry when the Web was called “new media” gives him insight into online marketing, community building and content management. Beyond the digital world, Gerry is a musician, visual artist, outdoors enthusiast, spiritual seeker, loving husband and father of 2. Gerry’s passion for food was cultivated during his years as a buyer on the Boston Fish Pier for a local fish monger and more recently as an inspired “Mediterranean-Vegetarian” embracing the Mediterranean Living lifestyle principles including cooking with fresh local food and celebrating the every day gifts of this life with good friends and family.

6 Comments

  1. Peg July 29, 2022 at 9:20 am - Reply

    5 stars
    This fish is fantastic. I am not a fish fan but I loved the cod done this way. Cooked this in foil on the grill because it is too hot in Florida to turn on the oven. Now it is one of my favorite recipes.

  2. Jean March 31, 2022 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    The best codfish recipe ever! We felt like we were in a 5 star restaurant. Between the presentation and the taste it was an outstanding meal. Thank you.

  3. Bill Bradley, R.D. January 4, 2022 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Thank you Kathleen! -Bill

  4. SHEILA BETH LANGLAIS November 6, 2021 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Very tasty! We loved the Cod and the wonderful flavors. My mistake: I used fresh sun-dried tomatoes and they did not cook enough! Next time I will use the ones in oil! Will make it again minus the fresh sun-dried tomatoes lol.

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. November 8, 2021 at 9:53 am - Reply

      Hi Sheila,
      The fresh ones do take quite a bit longer to cook if they haven’t been marinated in olive oil at least over night. I think it would work to saute them in olive oil first and let them soak up some of the oil. -Bill

  5. Emily November 15, 2019 at 12:10 am - Reply

    This was fantastic! I had local haddock so used that. Added garlic layered in the spinach and used fresh Greek oregano, marjoram, and rosemary. I didn’t have any pine nuts but those would definitely add an extra bite. Thank you!

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