Black Olive-Crusted Cod With Saffron Aioli

servings: 4

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Black Olive Crust

  • 1/2 an onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, pitted
  • 2 small sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 tbsp of whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp of Dijon mustard

Saffron Aioli

  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of saffron threads
  • 1 tbsp of Pernod or Ricard (anise liqueur)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


  • 4 portions of fresh cod, center cut, 6 oz each
  • 4 oz butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small bunch of chives
  • Salt and pepper


To make the black olive crust: In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers, then sauté the onion until it turns light brown and is completely cooked. Transfer the cooked onion to a food processor. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, toasted walnuts, and both mustards and process until smooth. Chill.

To make the saffron aioli: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the diced potatoes and cook until soft. Drain. Transfer potatoes to a cookie sheet, then bake them for 5 minutes to dry them out. In a small glass container, mix the saffron threads with the Pernod or Ricard, then heat in a microwave for one minute. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the potato, egg yolk, garlic, and warm saffron liquid. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice. Season aioli with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To cook the cod: Gently dry the surface of the cod with a paper towel. This will help the black olive crust to adhere to the fish. With a small spatula or the back of the spoon, carefully press the black olive mixture on top of the cod. Chill the cod in the refrigerator for about an hour.

In a nonstick pan over low heat, heat the olive oil. Place the cod in the pan with the olive crust down and cook gently for about two minutes. Watch it carefully so the olive crust does not take on any more color. Carefully flip the cod, then place the pan in the oven for a few minutes to finish cooking. The internal temperature of the fish should reach 125-135 degrees.

Place the fish in the center of the plate, olive crust up, and spoon the aioli along each side of the fish. Serve with mixed greens or steamed vegetables.

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