I was working near Richmond Bridge this afternoon and when I finished, I decided to walk across the bridge into the town centre. Partly to do some shopping but also because it’s just one of the loveliest parts of London and with the sun shining, the sky clear blue, I didn’t want to just go home but to make the most of where I live. There are few views in London more beautiful than the one from Richmond Bridge. However, I was enjoying the view too much to take a photo but here’s a recent one from the towpath looking up to the bridge:
One of my shopping necessities was something for supper. I took a straightforward route and searched the shelves in M&S Food Hall for inspiration. It was so sunny and warm outside I wanted something to match the weather’s mood. I spied some cod and grabbed a packet of flat-leaf parsley. There were lemons back at home. I decided to roast the cod simply and make some kind of parsley sauce to go with it – not a wintery béchamel type of sauce but a fresh one like a gremolata.
‘Great minds think alike’ the saying goes. Well I’m not really claiming a great mind, but back at home I opened my computer to find a new post from one of my favourite blogs – Chef Mimi Blog – to find a recipe for persillade … which is pretty much a gremolata. The French persillade is a basic mix of parsley and garlic to which lemon might be added, while the Italian gremolata always has the lemon zest. Oil might be added to either. What a happy coincidence that Mimi – who it was a delight to meet a couple of years ago when she was in London – had been thinking along the same lines at roughly the same time.
I had some tenderstem broccoli to use up at home and large tomatoes. I decided to roast the tomatoes too, cutting them in half and topping them with some fresh breadcrumbs mixed with crushed garlic, dried oregano and some seasoning, which I mixed together with my fingers then pressed fairly firmly on to the tomato halves. Then I drizzled over a generous amount of olive oil. I used to cook tomatoes like this a lot but haven’t for a long time. I thought they’d go well with the cod. Cod is a robust fish and can take strong seasonings and accompaniments well but I also wanted to retain the summery note.
I prepared the gremolata, finely chopping a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, adding the zest of one lemon, a crushed clove of garlic and some seasoning. I decided to also add extra virgin olive oil and make a ‘wetter’ sauce as I thought that would be nicer over the simply roasted cod.
The cod I simply smothered in some olive oil and seasoned lightly.
I put this and the prepared tomatoes into a hot oven – 220C/200Fan/Gas 7 – for 15 minutes until the fish was cooked through and the tomatoes nicely golden brown on top.
Meanwhile, I cooked the tenderstem broccoli which I would dress with a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice. When the cod was cooked, I put it on a plate and spooned some of the gremolata over the top.
It was a perfect accompaniment and with the gorgeous garlicky roast tomatoes with their nice crunchy topping, it made a beautiful plate of food for supper.