Monday 15 April 2013

Cod with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers - Merluzzo alla Livornese

Cod with tomatoes, olives and capers

While I think that traditional fish and chips has its place, I certainly don't think that deep-frying cod in this way shows off the firm, flaky texture to its best advantage. In this recipe for Livorno-style cod, the fish is simmered gently in white wine with fresh tomatoes, black olives and capers. The addition of garlic and oregano gives added depth of flavour. Like so many fish dishes, this is simple to prepare, healthy and full of flavour. The end result is a real taste of the Mediterranean with beautifully cooked cod, firm yet moist, and a wonderful, rich sauce from the wine, olive oil and herbs that develops while cooking. I tend to serve this with just a simple green salad and some crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices. 

This post is making its way over to one of my favourite challenges, Herbs on Saturday, created by Karen from the wonderful Lavender and Lovage.

Herbs on Saturday

I'm also sending it to Javelin Warrior's wonderful weekly challenge which encourages everyone to cook from scratch, Made with Love Mondays.

RECIPE - serves 2 

400-500g cod loin or fillet, as thick as possible
plain flour
2 teaspoons dried oregano 
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion
8 black olives, halved
1 tablespoon capers
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
250 ml dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, roughly chopped

Finely chop the onion and sweat gently in a large frying pan (one with a lid) for about 7 minutes in a tablespoon of the olive oil until translucent but not coloured. 

While the onion is cooking, you can prepare the fish. Cut the cod so that you have about 4 smaller fillets. Sprinkle the dried oregano over the cod, pressing it in slightly. Repeat on the other side. Put some flour onto a plate, season with salt and pepper, then flour the cod on both sides, knocking off the excess. 

When the onion is soft, remove from the frying pan with a slotted spoon. Add a little more olive oil to the pan and turn up the heat to medium. Add the cod and brown on both sides until a nice, golden colour. 

Put the softened onion back in the pan with the cod and add the wine, olives, tomatoes and capers. Put the lid on and cook over a low-medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the cod is cooked but still moist.

Add the fresh oregano and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with crusty bread. 

Merluzzo alla Livornese


  1. This looks amazing, I'm going to try and make this! I've just stumbled across your blog this morning, I too lived in italy for a while but when I was a child. The one thing I never forgot was how good the food tasted! I think italian cuisine has to be the best in the world xx

    1. Thank you! Glad you found your way here, I'm off to yours to have a look now...

  2. I love the colors and flavors in this dish, Katherine! Cherry tomatoes with olives is such a delicious combination and cod is a wonderful fish, so I'm sure I would enjoy this... Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks! Everything just seems to work so well here and the cod really stands up to these lovely flavours!

  3. This dish looks soooo delicious and light. I love all of these ingredients put together. Anything you can add capers in I devour. I love that lemony citrusy flavour on seafood :)

    1. I love capers too and agree with you that it works so well with fish!

  4. Stunning entry thanks, and thanks for being such a wonderful supporter of Herbs on Saturday! Karen xxx