The Easiest, Tastiest Way to Eat More Fish

roasted cod saltimbocca
Photo Credit: Kristin Teig

By Sheela Prakash

Don’t let fish intimidate you. With the right recipe, it can be easier and faster to make than chicken or pasta. Need proof? Roasted cod saltimbocca, an effortless, 30-minute meal you’ll fall for almost immediately. You don’t even need a cutting board or a knife to make this feel-good fish dinner inspired by the classic Roman dish.

Saltimbocca literally translates as “jump in the mouth” and the Italian combination of sage, prosciutto, and, traditionally, veal or chicken, does just that. Cod is such a mild fish that its flavor doesn’t typically jump in your mouth, so giving it the saltimbocca treatment lends boldness without sacrificing its healthfulness. Prosciutto might not be top of mind when you think of wholesome and nutritious foods, but just a few slices are all you need to reap the benefits of its salty, savory flavor. 

You’ll simply season the cod fillets all over with salt and pepper, then top each with a couple of fresh sage leaves and wrap with a thin slice of prosciutto. Roast the fillets in a baking dish until they flake easily, about 20 minutes, pull them from the oven, and squeeze them with lots of fresh lemon juice. Seriously, that’s it.

What you choose to serve this roasted cod with is up to you. Keep it simple with a crisp green salad, or bulk up the meal with a side of roasted sweet potatoes or brown rice. 

How to Thaw Frozen Fish

If you happen to keep frozen cod fillets tucked in your freezer, you’re that much closer to dinner. The best way to thaw the fillets is to transfer them to the refrigerator the night before or the morning you’re planning on cooking them. This gives them time to slowly defrost. Didn’t have the foresight? Put the frozen fish, either in its packaging or sealed in a zip-top bag, in a large bowl of cold water. Change out the water every 15 minutes or so to ensure it stays cold until the fish is thawed, which will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness of your fillets. 

Reprinted with permission from Mediterranean Every Day: Simple, Inspired Recipes for Feel-Good Food (Harvard Common Press, September 2020).

Roasted Cod Saltimbocca

  • Serves: 4
  • PRINT Print This Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless cod fillets (about 3/4inch thick), or any firm-fleshed white fish, such as halibut, sea bass, or monkfish
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 4 thin prosciutto slices
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Directions

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and generously season it all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a baking dish large enough to fit the fillets in one layer and tilt the dish to coat.
  3. Place 2 sage leaves on top of each fillet. Wrap 1 prosciutto slice around each fillet, tucking the ends underneath, and place the fillets in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Roast until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.