Fall Black Cod Salad

Local Ocean’s Special

TIME: 30 minutes

SERVING SIZE: 5 oz. black cod per person

Black Cod Fillet
Baby Kale
Acorn Squash
Red Onion
Parsley + Green Onion
Roasted Pepitas
White Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salt + Pepper to season
Cooking oil

1. Roast the cauliflower and squash: preheat your oven to 475 degrees.  Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper or rub/spray with cooking oil.  Arrange cauliflower on the baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes. Rotate the cauliflower, add the slices acorn squash, and bake 8-10 minutes longer until the vegetables start to brown. Pull from the oven and let cool just enough to be able to handle again.

2. Prepare the black cod – season the fillets aggressively with salt and pepper (salt is flavor! It opens up your taste buds so you can taste flavors more fully - but those with dietary restrictions may use less if needed).

3. Cook the black cod - you can grill or pan-sear. At the restaurant, we grill black cod. However, it is a fragile fish to cook, so we recommend pan-searing if you’re nervous about breaking the fillet. This will ensure that you don’t lose any of the fish if the fillet breaks.

- To Grill: Heat your grill or grill pan until it is 450-500 degrees. You want it very hot, so you get a good sear without overcooking your fish – the grill marks are great flavor! Drizzle your fish with a little olive oil on both sides. Add to the grill, making sure to place portions at a 45-degree angle to the grill slats so you get nice marking (you want to see a diamond crosshatch pattern on the fish when you’re done). Cook for 2 minutes, then rotate each piece 90 degrees and cook another 1-2 minutes. Flip and repeat for the other side, being careful not to overcook (see temperature instructions below). To finish, brush with butter a minute or two before taking it off the grill.

- To Pan-Sear: Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp olive oil (3 tbsp for a 4-person serving). You may need more oil if your pan is not seasoned fully and/or you are not using a nonstick pan. When the oil is shimmering but not smoking, add the fish, being careful to avoid sticking to the pan. Shake the pan gently as you add each portion to make sure it has enough oil between it and the pan – this will ensure a proper sear without sticking. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip, gently shaking the pan again as you place the raw side down into the oil. You can add a splash more oil at this point if the pan needs it. If your fish is not browning after 2 minutes, turn your pan heat up a little – color is flavor! To finish, brush with butter a minute or two before taking it off the stove.

- Temperature: At the restaurant, we serve black cod medium-well or well done. It can be a little “gummy” if it is undercooked, so pull it off the grill when it is 135 degrees or more in the center and let rest a few minutes before serving.

4. Mix the salad - in a large bowl, mix the kale, roasted cauliflower, acorn squash, parsley, and green onion. Dress with ¾ of the white balsamic vinaigrette and toss until evenly distributed.

5. Plate by first dividing the salad mix evenly between portions, mounding in the center of each plate.  Top with red onion, pepitas, and the black cod fillet.  Drizzle the remaining white balsamic vinaigrette.  Enjoy!

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Most Oregon black cod is exported to Japan, where it is considered a delicacy.  But it is increasingly gaining popularity in the US, particularly for those trying to increase beneficial omega-3 fats in the diet.  For seafood lovers, black cod is an ultimate indulgence with its rich buttery texture and high flavor profile.  The key to perfection is to cook the fish to medium-well - if undercooked, it can seem “gummy”.  Black Cod Salads frequent our specials menu, where Chef Enrique dreams up creative flavor combinations to serve with this delicious fish.

Updated November 29th, 2023

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