Cod with spicy Puy lentils

    55 min

    Dark green Puy lentils, grown in the south of France, have a unique, peppery flavour that is enhanced by chilli. They do not disintegrate during cooking and their texture is a perfect complement for the flakiness of fresh cod. Serve this satisfying dish with warm crusty bread and a mixed salad.

    113 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 2 celery sticks, chopped
    • 2 medium-sized leeks, chopped
    • 1–2 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
    • 170 g (6 oz) Puy lentils, rinsed and drained
    • 750 ml (1¼ pints) vegetable stock
    • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • pinch of cayenne pepper
    • 4 pieces of skinless cod fillet or cod steaks, about 140 g (5 oz) each
    • salt and pepper
    • lemon wedges to serve

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Preheat the grill to moderately high. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, celery, leeks and chillies, and cook gently for 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils. Add the vegetable stock, thyme and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. If at the end of this time the lentils have not absorbed all the stock, drain them (you can use the excess stock to make a soup).
    2. While the lentils are cooking, mix together the remaining 1 tbsp oil, the lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Lay the cod in the grill pan, skinned side up, season with salt and pepper, and brush with the oil mixture. Grill for 6–7 minutes or until the fish will flake easily. There is no need to turn the fish over.
    3. Spread the lentils in a warmed serving dish and arrange the pieces of cod on top. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.

    Alternatives to cod:

    Try this recipe with inexpensive fresh coley or pouting. They both belong to the cod family but are much cheaper and available in larger supermarkets or fishmongers.

    Another idea

    For cod with mustard lentils, cook the lentils as in the main recipe, omitting the chillies. Mix 125 g (4½ oz) fromage frais or half-fat crème fraîche with 1–2 tbsp Dijon mustard and stir into the cooked lentils. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard over the seasoned cod, drizzle with olive oil and grill. Serve on top of the lentils, garnished with grilled cherry tomatoes. * Hake, halibut, salmon or hoki can be used instead of cod.

    Plus points

    White fish such as cod is low in calories. Frying it in batter more than doubles the calorie content, whereas brushing it with a little oil and grilling it keeps the fat and therefore calories at healthy levels. * Lentils are classified as pulses, but unlike other pulses they do not need to be soaked before cooking. Lentils are a good source of protein, starch, dietary fibre and B vitamins. Iron absorption from lentils is poor, but vitamin C-rich foods, such as the lemon juice in this recipe, can improve this considerably. Lentils have a low Glycaemic Index. * Thyme has been used as an antiseptic since Greek and Roman times.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of niacin, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B6. Good source of vitamin B12, vitamin C. Useful source of folate, iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E.

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    Reviews in English (6)


    I just made this dish and it was excellent. Instead of a salad, I served it with some roasted asparagus and a bit of chorizo that I had cut thinly and fried off until crisp to sprinkle on top. I will definitely make this again.  -  01 May 2013


    Made this twice now. Makes very enjoyable dinner without potatoes, rice or pasta.  -  29 Oct 2015


    I used green lentils in a tin as they were the only ones I could get but everything else was the same. I had a sweet potato, carrots and swede all mashed together and added as a side dish. The meal was lovely and filling. It is one I will make again. My fiancé is a chef and said "It's delicious!" So that's good enough for me.  -  22 Oct 2015