Polpo's Cod, Lentils & Salsa Verde
The girls came over for dinner the other day, and to allay the fact that I knew we would drink a bottle of wine each, I was minded to make a healthy meal. Flicking through the (excellent) Polpo cook book, I spotted this little gem which I have actually eaten at Polpo and know to be yummy: Cod cheeks with lentils and salsa verde.
Norman claims that your fishmonger should be able to sort you out with some cod cheeks given a day or so's notice, but I had mere hours so had to settle for some nice fillets of cod instead. A shame, as you may remember how much I loved the cheeks in Mallorca.
I shan't fully reproduce the recipe here - instead I urge you to purchase the Polpo book for yourself as it packed with lovely ideas and Venetian style goodies. However, the book calls for you to knock up a little vinaigrette type dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon and dress some al dente lentils with a few spoonfuls (although the food stylist in the book seems to have drenched them in it!). Then, make a salsa verde - one of my favourite things ever - with parsley, mint, basil, capers and very good olive oil. I hate capers but they really really make this dish, so do be open minded. The olive oil I used was a Terra Creta from the beautiful people at Isle of Olive on Broadway Market and worked a treat. There's more info about their olive oils here. Finally, shallow fry the cod in a pan with said olive oil; I was mean with the olive oil here due to the old calorie counting, and I also swapped some of the oil in the salsa verde for water to lighten it up.
Plate up by layering the cod on top of the dressed lentils, then spooning a quantity of the salsa verde over the fish. A lovely light dish that doesn't leave you feeling at all deprived in the depths of January. Probably around 500-600 calories depending on your serving and how heavy handed you are with the oil.