If there is one month in our calendar that flat-out screams please-let-time-stand-still-because-I-am-nowhere-near-ready-for-the-glory-of-summer-to-end, it would without question have to be September, right?
September shows up suddenly like a guest you didn’t know was on your invite list; like an atmospheric tease from the gods of Autumn, appearing to remind you that beyond all the sunshine and lazy summer days exists another monumental season — fall — or as I like to think of it, the season of acceptance.
Fall forces us to make peace with the fact that all good things must come to an end, and gently encourages us to embrace the magnificent dynamism that is Mother Nature. To nod in gratitude to the universe for those epic beach days and barbecues of the last few months, and herald in the new crispness in the air, the energetic shift in our work ethic and of course, all the new flavors we’ll get to enjoy. Personally, the cooler air makes us instantly crave stews and soups — foods that simmer, meals we can sip while gazing reflectively at the passage of time.
Which is why we are an absolute sucker for this Mediterranean Cod Stew, a robust and flavor-forward entree that’s as perfect for a quiet solo dinner as it is for your first fall gathering. It’s the perfect culinary bridge between seasons — on the one hand making use of those last summer tomatoes, but also warm and cozy enough to enjoy while wearing your favorite elbow-patched cardigan. In short, this recipe puts the “ease” in the word “season” for us. Here it is for you to enjoy:
Mediterranean Cod Stew
(Makes 4 servings)
2 teaspoons of olive oil
4 cod portions
Pinch of salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes (or cherry or Heirloom tomatoes), quartered
1⁄4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
⅓ cup pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons parsley or basil to garnish, chopped
1. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Fry the fish until golden brown, (about 5 minutes). Carefully flip the fillets over and continue cooking for a further 2 minutes. Adjust stove temp to medium-low.
2. Add in onion and garlic, and fry until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
3. Add in the tomatoes (burst them with your finger tips while adding them into the pan for added flavour), wine, lemon juice and olives, and continue cooking until the fish has cooked through and sauce has reduced a little.
4. Taste test and adjust the seasoning accordingly (more salt or pepper).
5. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve immediately with the herbs.