With Brussel Sprouts

Seared Cod w/ Polenta and Asparagus

With Brussel Sprouts
Photography by Lauren Williams

I’m a bit of a cod noob, but I saw it on sale and knew I wanted to do something other than batter it and fry it.  I wanted to just try its natural flavor, or lack there of, and see what it’s capable of.  It’s a very lack luster fish as far as having its own flavor goes.  BUT it does give you a crazy palette to work with.  You could use it as a nondescript protein in almost any stir fry or soup.  So I seared the cod filets after a little salt and pepper, and then drizzled them with a little lemon and paprika.  I liked this dish a lot as a light healthy dinner, I love the crunch from the asparagus, and the creaminess of the polenta.  It’s just a fun weeknight dish that’s easy to make and not too many ingredients!



  • 1/2 lb Cod Filet
  • 12-14 Asparagus Stalks
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Olive Oil



  • 1/2 Package of precooked polenta (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)
  • 1/4 Sweet Yellow Onion
  • 1 8oz Can Peeled Whole Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Pasta Sauce
  • 1 Cup Frozen Brussel Sprouts
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bay Leaf




  1.  Cut the Cod Filet in 2
  2. Rub both filets with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  3. Do the same thing with the Asparagus
  4. Squeeze just a little bit of lemon juice on the asparagus
  5. Preheat oven to 450
  6. Preheat a pan to medium high heat
  7. Wrap the Asparagus up in foil and place in oven
  8. Let cook for 15 minutes
  9. Remove from oven
  10. Drizzle a little olive oil in the pan
  11. Place the cod in the pan
  12. Sear for 3-4 minutes
  13. Flip
  14. Cook another 3-4 minutes until opaque
  15. Remove from heat
  16. Drizzle with a little bit of lemon juice
  17. Sprinkle with paprika



  1. Pour your can of tomatoes into a pot
  2. Finely chop the garlic and onion
  3. Add them to the pot
  4. Add 1/2 can of water to the pot
  5. Bring to a boil
  6. Pour in blender and blend until smooth
  7. Return to the pan
  8. Add 1 bay leaf
  9. Add the polenta
  10. Mush it up
  11. Add the brussel sprouts
  12. Cook 4-7 minutes longer over medium heat


As far as plating goes, my cod actually broke up a bit, so I used the sheets that cod flakes into to make a sheet over a bed of polenta.  It was a great way to make sure those flavors get combined, but it was also a little weird when you’d get a bite of brussel sprouts and think it was fish at first, so I recommend not doing that.  It would be best to have the filet, asparagus, and polenta take their own space on the plate.  I garnished with a splash of lemon juice and cilantro.  It was a really light flavorful dish, the asparagus  still had some snap, and the cod was juicy and flaky.


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