1 October 2007

Walnut-Crusted Cod with Parsnip Sauce & W.H.B.

I hold a special place for Sylvia Jurys and her cooking school Wine & Thyme here on my blog . Her cooking school on Lake Okanagan turns out some of the most wonderful dishes. This is truly my favourite way to cook cod from now on.
When I participated in her French class I just had to go home and make this recipe for my friends that very weekend. When preparing the parsnip sauce you cut out the sometimes bitter inner core. It creates a lot of waste, but it is well worth the effort. Also, use a stick or emulsion blender for the best results. When I made this at my friends house for our get together we used a regular blender. It was a little time consuming but also worked well. . The key is to get very, very creamy parsnips for the dish. The marriage of flavours and combination of textures in this dish are to die for!!!!

In keeping with my cooking with wine theme I have going for the 10 days of the wine festival here in the valley.... I am presenting this dish. There is no wine in the preparation (what you say?) but I will have a glass of wine on the side... plus the fact that the recipe is from Sylvia over at "Wine & Thyme" cooking school.

I am also entering for my first time the Weekend Herb Blogging challenge created by the encouraging and talented Kalyn over at Kalyn's Kitchen and hosted this week by Haalo over at Cooks Almost Anything This dish features PARSLEY.

Parsley is not only the worlds most popular herb but is also a wonderfully nutritious and healing food that is often under-appreciated. It derives it's name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery". Most people do not realize that this vegetable has more uses than just being a decorative garnish on your plate. I remember going to restaurants when I was young and my mom teaching me to eat the parsley garnish. She said it would freshen my breath. Perhaps that is true?

Parsley is a storehouse of nutrients and has a delicious and vibrant flavour. A sprig of parsley can provide volatile oils such as Myristicin that have been shown to be a "chemoprotective" food and a food that can help neutralize particular carcinogens (such as benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke).

The flavanoid luteolin is a powerful antioxidant that prevents damage to the cells. Parsley is also an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. So, the moral of the story is to keep eating those parsley garnishes!!!

The ancient Greeks felt that parsley was sacred, not only using it to adorn winning athletes in their games and contests , but , also for decorating the tombs of their loved ones. It started to be a part of the culinary cuisine sometime in the Middle Ages in Europe.

This cod dish is delicious with its parsley, walnut and breradcrumb coating. The light at my friends place in the evening does not do the dish justice but believe me when I tell you it also makes a great presentation as well as being flavourful and healthy.

Great food, great friends....a sip or two of wine in honor of the Wine Festival....what more could you ask for!


**Morue enrobee de noix avec aux panais (Walnut Crusted Cod with Parsnip Sauce**

8 slices of white bread, crusts removed
4 oz Italian parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp thyme leaves
16 walnut halves, chopped
6 T olive oil
8 x 6 oz/175 g cod fillets, skinned
butter for greasing

For The Parsnip sauce:

8 parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
knob of butter
500 ml Homogenized milk (for best results)
squeeze of lemon juice


Cut the bread into cubes, then place in a food processor, blitz until beginning to crumble. Add the parsley and thyme until the crumbs are reasonably fine and a rich green colour.Season with salt and pepper and add the chopped walnuts. Quickly blitz again to crush the walnuts slightly. Remove the mixture to a bowl. Add the olive oil a little at a time to moisten the texture ( the mixture should not be wet and sloppy).
Season the cod fillets with salt and white pepper, then cover the flat side (the skinned side) with the crumb mixture. Place the cod fillets on a baking sheet. These can now be chilled until needed.


Cut the core from the quartered parsnips. Cut each piece into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Melt the knob of butter in a saucepan and add the parsnips. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring from time to time, and not allowing the parsnips to colour, until just beginning to soften. Add the milk and simmer for 15 minutes, until the pieces are completely cooked through. Season with salt and white pepper. Liquidize the parsnips to a puree. (we used a stick blender). A squeeze of lemon juice can now be added to enliven the flavour, taste and adjust the seasonings accordingly. Keep aside ready to reheat.

TO FINISH THE FISH: Preheat the oven to 400F and the grill to HOT. Place the cod fillets under the broiling grill, not too close to the heat, for a few minutes until the topping reaches a light golden edge( the walnuts will appear toasted). Transfer to a preheated oven and bake for 8 - 10 minutes until the fish looks opaque. Do not overcook - the fish should feel soft to the touch.

To Plate: Put a large spoonful of the warmed parsnip puree on the plate. Tap the bottom of the plate under the puree to smooth out. Place a piece of fish on the puree. Serve with roasted potatoes, or wild rice, green beans and carrots.

Bon Appetit!!

Serves 8 Best Blogger Tips


  1. This sounds delicious. I've never made parsnip sauce before. And this is also a good excuse to use parsley because I have a huge bush!

  2. Parsnip sauce, hmmm. sounds interesting but I've never had parsnips. I see them rarely here (also pig food) but my British friends are always raving about them. So next time I'll buy them and they this... Love the parsley!

  3. What a great and healthy way to liven up the gentle flavor of cod. I love parsnips and certainly don't serve them enough. This gives me ideas. Thx!

  4. A wonderful fall dish...and I love the parsnip sauce!

  5. Love Walnuts, makes a nutty and yummy crust or sauce.Great recipe:)

  6. Thanks for all the encouragement guys. The combination of the crusted cod and the parsnip sauce had me cleaning off my plate entirely which is a rare occurance when eating seafood.
    Do try parsnips Katiez..the pigs shouldn't be the ones enjoying their sweet goodness!But remove the core if they are large!!!

  7. What a beautiful dish! I've never actually had parsnips, but it being Fall around here it seems like the time to give them a try. (And I've always heard about the breath-freshening quality of parsley, too, but I'm not convinced it works! Perhaps it's subtle, and I'm trained to think "minty fresh.")

  8. Sounds so delicious, thanks!!! Gloria I will try it.

  9. Big fan of the cod, got to try this sometime. Looks great, Valli!

  10. Valli, this sounds yummy and I am sure I could use another fish in the cods place ?? Parsnips are another one of those fall veggies I adore. I love roasting them with onions and carrots that have been slathered with olive oil. All sounds great! Especially the cooking school!

  11. This sounds delicious, Valli. And how interesting to learn that humble parsley is such a powerhouse of goodness. :-) I will have to think twice about merely discarding it the next time it appears as a garnish!

  12. Sounds like a delicious and interesting sauce for the cod. I have only eaten parsnips a few times, but I think parsley would be great with them.


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