Grilled Cod with Bitter Salad Leaves and Parsley Dressing


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Cooking at the Merchant House

By Shaun Hill

Published 2000

  • About

This treatment suits any grilled white fish and, if money is no object, Dover sole fillets look elegant served this way. The dressing is similar to pesto, but with the addition of stock or wine and lemon juice. The result looks rather like avocado purée but acts as sauce for the fish and a dressing for the leaves.


  • 4 cod fillets, 100g ( oz) each
  • about 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a selection of bitter leaves including belgian endive, corn salad and frisée
  • 2 tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
  • ½ lemon

For the Dressing

  • 120ml (4fl oz/½ cup) olive oil
  • 100 g ( oz/5 cups lightly packed) flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fish stock,
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 sprig basil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • a dash of Tabasco sauce
  • salt and black pepper


To make the dressing, process all the ingredients in a blender (a food processor won’t do). It will form a thick purée and will set fairly solid if kept in the refrigerator.

Brush the fish fillets with olive oil, season lightly and grill or broil them. Combine the salad leaves and tomatoes and arrange them round the edges of the serving plates. Sprinkle with a few drops of olive oil and some salt.

Put a spoonful of parsley dressing at the centre of each plate and lay the cooked fish fillets on top. Squeeze a little lemon juice over each fillet before serving.