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Olive Oil-Poached Cod with Cauliflower Couscous


Olive Oil-Poached Cod With Cauliflower Couscous is the low-carb dinner that has all the flavors and textures you crave but healthier. Succulent cod is poached in rich olive oil which yields and tender and moist fish fillet that pairs well with fluffy cauliflower rice. Serve this meal with the roasted or steamed vegetables of your choice or a lightly dressed side salad, and of course, a glass of crisp white wine.

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  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1 1/4 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced, divided
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) cod fillets
  • leaves from 7 sprigs mint, roughly torn
  • 10 chives, minced


Servings 4
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 45mins
Adapted from


Step 1

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add cauliflower and boil until beginning to soften but still resistant when pierced, about 3 minutes. Strain cauliflower and toss dry. In a food processor, pulse cauliflower until it resembles fluffy couscous.

In a large bowl, whisk together sesame seeds, paprika, lemon zest, half the juice or the lemon, garlic, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt to taste and adjust other seasonings as needed. Fold in cauliflower couscous until evenly dressed. Add more salt, oil, or lemon to taste.

Season cod liberally on both sides with salt. Pour remaining olive oil into a medium heavy pot over low heat. Once hot but not bubbling or once it has reached 135°F, slide in cod fillets and make sure they are just covered in oil, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Gently poach cod, keeping the temperature steady, until it offers no resistance when pierced, about 6 minutes. If white albumin leeches out, immediately and gently lift fish out with a fish spatula. Blot cod dry on paper towels.

Toss chives and mint into couscous. To serve, distribute couscous among 4 plates and place one cod fillet over each helping.

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