Black Cod in White Bean Sauce

I love seafood. I just got back from a week at the beach, and I could have had more seafood while I was there, but I did at least make sure to have local fish and regional shrimp. I grew up in South Carolina where seafood was easier to come by and so were trips to the coast. I love Chattanooga, but I miss the variety of easily accessible seafood. I enjoyed Pickett’s trout when it was at the market, and I am thankful for Wild Alaskan and their salmon and cod.


Bon Appetit’s recipe for Clams in White Bean Sauce intrigued me, but I did not want to use clams. I figured cod would be a good substitute and used Wild Alaskan’s Black Cod. It was an excellent substitute, but necessitated some changes in the order of cooking. The cod cooks quickly, especially in bite sized (I was imagining large clam sized) pieces. Add the cod near the end of cooking. It will quickly turn opaque and you’ll know it’s ready.


Note: I did not slice my fennel for the topping thinly enough. Learn from my mistake and sharpen your knife or (preferably) use a mandoline! It was still yummy, but it was a bit much to chew.


With some hearty bread, and perhaps a ferment on the side, you have a meal in one pot.


Black Cod in White Bean Sauce

Adapted from Clams in White Bean Sauce from Bon Appetit


1 15-ounce can baby lima or cannellini beans or other medium white beans, rinsed

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 fennel bulb, halved, one half thinly sliced, the other chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 sprig rosemary

1 lemon, halved, one half lightly zested

Handful of parsley leaves, chopped

1 pound cod, cut into large bite-sized pieces

4 thick slices country-style bread, toasted

Toss beans in a medium bowl with a drizzle of oil; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Halve fennel and remove fronds. Set fronds aside. Thinly slice one half of fennel and transfer to a medium bowl along with fronds. Place a damp paper towel directly on fennel to help prevent browning and set aside. Finely chop remaining half of fennel, then thinly slice garlic.Halve lemon, pick out seeds, and zest half. Coarsely chop parsley.

Heat ¼ cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add chopped fennel, garlic, and rosemary sprig and cook, stirring often, until fennel is translucent and tender, about 10 minutes.

Add reserved seasoned beans to pot and stir to combine; loosen sauce with water if it looks too tight. Stir in cod. Add half of parsley, and toss well.

Add remaining parsley to bowl with reserved sliced fennel and squeeze remaining lemon half over. Season fennel-herb salad with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Drizzle with a very small amount of oil and toss again.

Serve cod topped with salad and toasted bread for dipping into sauce.

Printable recipe here

Printable recipe for Clams in White Bean Sauce

Photo by  Zachary Cross

Photo by Zachary Cross

Heather Cross