Smoky Seared Cod with Roasted Potatoes & Dates

In this light dish, seared cod is topped with a smoky, Spanish-style pan sauce sweetened with dates and enriched with a touch of butter. To round out the meal, the cod is served on top of a roasted potato salad with tangy pickled shallot and baby greens. Lemon juice adds brightness throughout the dish. For this dish, I used a pink lemon for its mild acidity and lightly floral notes (easily recognized in the produce aisle- look for the lemons with bright green stripes), but you can use whatever variety of lemon you like.

This recipe serves two.


  • 2 cod fillets
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 ounces baby greens (such as arugula, kale, or spinach)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 pound russet potatoes (about two medium potatoes)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons roasted almonds
  • 1/2 ounce dates (such as Deglet Noor)
  • 3/4 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 Tablespoon rice flour
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Prepare ingredients: Heat oven to 450° F. Wash and dry fresh produce. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Peel and thinly slice shallot. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Roughly chop the dates, baby greens, and almonds. Quarter and deseed the lemon.
  2. Roast the potatoes: Place the potatoes on a  sheet pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast, flipping halfway through, 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender when pierced by a fork. Remove from the oven and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside in a warm place.
  3. Pickle the shallot: While the potatoes roast, combine the shallot, sugar, vinegar and 1/4 cup water in a small pot; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Coat and brown the cod: While the shallot cools, combine smoked paprika and rice flour on a plate. Pat the cod fillets dry with paper towels;season with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat 1 side of each seasoned fillet with the spice blend, tapping off any excess. In a medium pan (preferably nonstick), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Add the fillets, coated sides down, and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip the fillets and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  5.  Make the sauce and finish the cod: Add the butter, garlic, dates, and 1/4 cup water to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally spooning the sauce over the fillets, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cod is coated and cooked through. Turn off the heat and top with the juice from 2 of the lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Finish the vegetables and plate the dish: Reserve 2 tablespoons of the shallot pickling liquid, and drain the shallot. Add the baby greens, pickled shallot, and the juice from the remaining 2 lemon wedges to the bowl with the roasted potatoes, along with a drizzle of olive oil. Gently toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished vegetables between 2 plates. Top the vegetables with the finished cod fillets and sauce. Garnish with chopped toasted almonds and serve.