This wild-caught cod and, in fact, all seafood from Alaska, is regulated and managed for sustainability, and it’s been that way since 1959. According to publications by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Alaska is “a world model for sustainability.” Fish populations are never overfished (catch limits are based on scientific data and fishing is rigorously managed), the environment is uncorrupted, and species’ ecosystems are protected.
I couldn’t imagine a culinary world without cod. The fish is versatile and simply beautiful. In this recipe, I use wild Alaskan cod fillets from Target–just to show that sustainable seafood is not hard to find. I love including beans and legumes with fish. It raises the comfort-food factor, at least for me. Have you cooked with cod lately? I’d love to know.
2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Agave Nectar (a natural, low-glycemic sweetener)
1 16-ounce package wild-caught Alaska cod fillets (or 1 cod fillet per person)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon nutmeg
2 cans black lentils, drained and rinsed (I used Westbrae Natural Vegetarian, Organic Black Lentils)
1 32-ounce package of vegetable broth
Kosher salt (as needed for seasoning)
1 bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley, torn in pieces by hand
- Using a large bowl, make a brine with the first three ingredients. Place the fish in the brine and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- While the fish are in the brine, brown the onions in two tablespoons of olive oil in a braising pan or large frying pan (with a lid) on medium-low heat. Stir infrequently just to prevent onions from sticking. Allow the onions to remain in the pan until they are mostly brown and appear loose and soft. Add 1 tablespoon of water and allow the onions to caramelize (about two minutes).
- Add the nutmeg and stir to mix spice with the onions, allow the nutmeg to seep into the onions for a minute or two. Add lentils and vegetable broth. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Allow lentils and broth to come to a simmer over the medium-low heat.
- Remove fish from brine and pat dry. Add immediately to broth and lentils, with the liquid covering the fish. Cover the pan and turn heat to low. Cook fish for 10-15 minutes until done.
- Place broth with lentils into four bowls. Place one fillet in each bowl and garnish with torn parsley.