Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Roasted Cod & Parma Ham with Peppers

Fish is the ultimate in fast food, and is easily pan fried or roasted and ready to serve within a matter of minutes. I used to be very wary of cooking fish mainly because I was so scared of overcooking it, but I find that initially pan-frying it and then finishing it off in the oven works a treat and cooks the fish perfectly.

When cooked, cod should not be dry and fibrous, but rather should still retain some moistness and flake apart easily in bite sized pieces.

I really love the simplicity of this dish; the cod and peppers combination is absolutely delicious. The peppers can be prepared beforehand and gently heated in the oil just before serving. In fact, the peppers are a wonderful dish in their own right and I often make them to serve along with cured meats and other vegetables as part of an Italian inspired antipasti platter. If you’re not a fan of capers, leave them out, but personally, I think they add a little something extra to the finished dish.

This is a perfect dish for summer, being both light on the palate and satisfying to eat at the same time.


4 cod fillets, skinned and boned (about 125g each)
4 slice of Parma ham
Juice of half a lemon
3 large red peppers
3 large yellow peppers
125ml olive oil
Sprig of rosemary
4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
1tblsp of capers from a jar, rinsed
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
A few leaves of basil, cut into fine shreds
Balsamic vinegar for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 220C/Fan Oven 200C/Gas Mark 7. Wrap each cod fillet with a slice of Parma ham and refrigerate until ready to cook.
2. Place the peppers in a small roasting and drizzle over half the olive oil. Add a spring of Rosemary and the bruised garlic cloves to the oil and cook in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the skins of the peppers start to blister.
3. Remove from the oven (but leave and place the peppers in a large bowl and cover tightly with cling film – this will make it easier to remove the skins. Allow to cool slightly and then, using a small knife, peel the skins and remove the seeds (these can be discarded). Cut the peppers into strips about 1cm wide and set aside in a clean bowl. Strain the reserved roasting oil through a sieve on to the peppers and add the remaining oil.
4. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to an oven-proof frying pan on a medium heat. Season the Parma ham wrapped cod fillets with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and then fry in the hot oil for about a minute each side, add a generous squeeze of lemon juice and then place the pan in the hot oven for 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cod fillets.
To serve:
5. Mix the capers and the shredded basil into the peppers. Divide the peppers between 4 serving plates and sit a cooked ham wrapped piece of cod on top of each. Drizzle with a small amount of balsamic vinegar and serve.
Serves 4.