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Fresh Cod with Green Olives

Chef Laurent Gras Recipes

Fresh Cod with Green Olives

Alta Editions

The silken texture of the cod poached in olive oil and perfumed with fresh herbs is counterbalanced by the briny green olive sauce. Mashed potatoes are delicious with everything. The tang of the lemon-crème fraîche dressing and crisp lettuce cuts through the saltiness and richness of the dish.
— Laurent Gras

This Provence-inspired Fresh Cod with Green Olives recipe is a preview from chef Laurent Gras's multiple IACP award-winning cookbook, My Provence.

4 servings   |   Prep Time: 30 minutes   |   Cooking Time: 1 hour



For the Cod

  • 1 ¼ pounds (600 g) fresh cod fillets, skin and bones removed
  • Sea salt
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • ¾ cup (150 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground white pepper

For the Green Olive Emulsion

  • 3 ounces (100 g) green olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (200 ml) water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt

For the Chive Oil (optional)

  • 1 cup (250 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch chives, about 3 ounces (100 g), finely chopped

For the Fingerling Potato Purée

  • 1 pound (500 g) fingerling potatoes, washed
  • Sea salt
  • ¾ cup (150 ml) chicken stock, boiling
  • 3 tablespoons (50 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 sprigs Italian parsley, chopped

For the Lettuce

  • 40 leaves romaine lettuce, from the heart
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup (50 g) crème fraîche
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Chive oil (optional), from above


For the Green Olive Emulsion

  1. Combine the olives, olive oil, water, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Liquefy and emulsify the mixture until smooth, and pass through a fine mesh strainer. Keep at room temperature until needed.

For the Chive Oil

  1. In a blender, combine the olive oil and the chives. Liquefy the chives, emulsifying them with the oil, until they are totally puréed. Pour this mixture into a small saucepan and set over medium heat until it starts to simmer. At this point, the emulsion will break. Pass the oil through a fine mesh strainer into a small mixing bowl. Place this bowl over another bowl filled with ice water, and stir until it cools. Store the oil in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

For the Cod

  1. Divide the fish into 4 equal portions, about 5 ounces (150 g) each. Season the fish with sea salt on both sides. Place the fish on a sheet pan or plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Pat the fish dry with paper towel. Place a sprig of thyme, a sprig of rosemary, and a bay leaf on each piece of fish. Transfer the fish with the herbs to a re-sealable plastic bag. Pour 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil into each bag. Close the bags, sealing as little air as possible inside.
  2. Place a large pot of water over low heat and bring to 140ºF (60°C). Place the bags of fish in the water and let poach for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Watch the temperature closely and adjust the heat under the pot accordingly. To keep the fish submerged, you can invert a small plate into the pot to hold the fish down. When the fish has turned opaque white, remove the bags from the water and let the fish rest for 5 minutes. Just before you are ready to serve, open the bags over a rack and let the oil drain. Season the fish with freshly ground white pepper.

For the Fingerling Potato Purée

  1. Wash the potatoes and place them in a saucepot with a generous pinch of sea salt. Cover the potatoes with cold water and simmer over medium heat until soft, about 15 minutes. Use the tip of a knife to test the resistance of the flesh. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes using a paring knife. Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Pour half of the chicken stock over the potato while stirring with the fork. Add the butter and the olive oil, and adjust the consistency of the mixture with the remaining chicken stock. The purée should feel light while stirring. Season with salt and pepper and cover with plastic wrap and keep warm over a pot of simmering water. Stir in the parsley just before serving.

For the Lettuce

  1. Trim the bottom of the lettuce leaves so that they are all about 4 inches (10 cm) in length. Split the leaves in half along the length of the stem. Wash and let the leaves drain until dry. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice and crème fraîche. Toss the leaves with the crème fraîche mixture, a pinch of salt, and some freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with chive oil (if using) before serving.
  2. To Assemble the DishArrange the mashed potato or potato emulsion in the center of the plate. Place the fish on the potato and arrange the lettuce leaves over the fish. Pour the green olive emulsion around the fish. Drizzle the chive oil over the lettuce.

Get this recipe and over 40 other delicious Provence-inspired dishes in Laurent Gras: My Provence, the award-winning online cookbook from renowned chef Laurent Gras, for $9.99.
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