Summertime Succotash Salsa + Poached Cod in Tomato Broth

It was so hot + humid yesterday, I couldn't figure out which was the lesser of two evils- standing over a hot grill in 100 degree humidity or heating up the nicely air conditioned house with a hot oven. After a few minutes of pondering, I decided the I didn't have to settle for either evil! I finally got wise and decided to poach. A few minutes on the stovetop and no sweat on the brow.

We were having friends over for dinner and I wanted to serve something light and refreshing. We decided on fish, so I headed to our local market. The choice was easy- I bought whatever my fishmonger said was the freshest. I settled on a pearly white wild caught cod about 2 inches thick.

I hadn't yet decided how I was going to cook it, so I surveyed the rest of the kitchen for ingredients that would inspire.
Fresh summer flavors from the farmer's market was a good place to start - tiny little lemon cucumbers, sweet, white corn in its husk, vine ripe tomatoes just off the vine.

I settled on a nice light tomato broth with a summer succotash salsa. Simple. light. delicious.


4 or 5 vine ripe, locally grown tomatoes
1 cup water
1 splash of Pernod
Few sprigs of fennel fronds
1 clove of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
1 pound fresh fillet of wild catch cod
1 Teaspoon Wild Oregano + Sage Savory Salt
1 ear white or yellow corn {go for sweetness} Little kernels are best.
1 lemon cucumber , smallish in size {you can substitute with a European cucumber if you can't find lemon}.
1 handful of cilantro

Core the tomatoes and cut in half. Place a strainer over a bowl and squeeze out all of the flesh and seeds.
Reserve the skin {it will have a thin layer of flesh remaining}. With the back of a curved spoon, push the tomato flesh and seeds through the strainer to yield about 1 to 1 + 1/2 cup of tomato juice. Cut the tomato skins into 1/4 inch dice.
In a large saute pan, place the tomato juice, tomato skin pieces, water, Pernod, fennel and garlic. Simmer over low heat.
{Do not boil, as you do not want to evaporate the liquid}.

Cut the cod into 6 oz. filets. Season with the salt. When the broth is heated, gently place the fillets in the pan. Cover and cook until the fish is translucent white and starting to flake {about 4-6 minutes, depending on size and thickness}.

While the fish is cooking, remove the kernels from the corn. Cut the cucumber into a fine dice. Chop the cilantro coarsley, enough for about 2 Tablespoons of cilantro. Toss the corn, cucumber and cilantro together in a small bowl.

Place the corn mixture in a circle on the outer side of the plate. Gently remove the fish one fillet at a time onto the middle of each plate. Spoon the tomato broth around the fish and over the corn mixture. Garnish the top of the fish with a sprig of the cilantro.

Serves four.

Buon appetito!
copyright 2009 Alisa Barry

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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