Cod loin in spiced tomato sauce with hasselback potatoes and zhoug

Serves 2

Fresh and light fish in a rich tomato sauce, with spicy zhoug and crisp roast potatoes

Hasselback potatoes


12 small Charlotte potatoes (or other waxy variety)

Olive oil

Maldon sea salt 


  1. Heat the oven to 220 C/200 C fan.
  2. Place the potatoes in between the handle of two wooden spoons. Make cuts across the potatoes (the handles will stop you cutting through to the base).
  3. Place in an ovenproof dish, drizzle generously with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Cook for about 40 mins, basting occasionally so the oil drips though all the cuts. Add more salt, if necessary.


Cod in tomato sauce


3 tbsp olive oil

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp sweet smoked paprika

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

130 ml dry white wine

450 g ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 clove garlic, grated or crushed

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tsp caster sugar

Cod loins (skinless & boneless; about 200 g each)

Fresh coriander and parsley


  1. Place the cast iron casserole on a medium−high heat then add the olive oil. Add the onions and spices, lower the heat, and cook gently (without browning) for about 10 mins until the onions are soft.
  2. Pour in the wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Add the tomatoes, chilli and garlic, stir, bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened. If the mix becomes too dry, add a splash of water. Season to taste. (You can prepare up to this stage in advance, just heat up the tomato sauce before you add the fish.)
  4. Season the cod, drizzle with olive oil, and gently place in the tomato sauce. Replace the lid and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, turn the grill to as high as possible, and grill the fish for 2-3 minutes, checking carefully in case it starts to burn.
  5. Remove from the grill (carefully, it will be hot!), sprinkle with chopped parsley and coriander, and serve.

I used the Denby 30 cm cast iron casserole (


Zhoug – a fresh, spicy sauce that originated in Yemen


2 whole green chilli peppers (jalapenos)

1 small clove of garlic (optional)

25 g coriander (mostly leaves)

10 g parsley (leaves)

½ tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp sea salt

30 ml extra virgin olive oil

½ lemon (juice only) 


  1. Put all the ingredients (except the lemon juice and olive oil) into a blender and blitz.
  2. Add the lemon and olive oil, and blend until it forms a puree. Add more oil and lemon as necessary.
  3. Any leftover sauce can be stored the fridge for a few days (just cover the surface with a thin layer of olive oil).

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