Seared cod on lentils with a mustard infused sauce

The Italians always serve fish and lentils on New Year's Eve. It's supposed to bring good luck. Even if it doesn't, it sure is tasty!

Seared cod on lentils with a mustard infused sauce

Serves 4


  • 4 fresh cod fillets approx. 300g each
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g brown lentils
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10g butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 150g guanciale, cut into thin strips
  • Salt and pepper
  • Finely chopped parsley to finish

Mustard sauce

  • 300ml fresh cream
  • 15g butter
  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Firstly prepare the lentils, which may be cooked the day before and simply reheated when needed.
  2. Place the lentils into a pot. Cover with twice the amount of water. Season with salt and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes till cooked, but still al dente. Drain and cool.
  3. Heat the oil with the butter. Add the garlic and thyme. 
  4. To prepare the mustard sauce, place all the ingredients into a small pot and heat gently, stirring often, till slightly thickened. Set aside until needed.
  5. Stir fry for a minute or two then add the guanciale. Cook to render the fat and colour the meat before adding the boiled lentils.
  6. Stir well to coat with all the cooking juices. Check seasoning and adjust. Add the parsley before plating.
  7. To cook the fish heat a non stick baking sheet for 15 mins in an oven set at 180°C.
  8. Season the fish and brush with olive oil. Place the fish skin down on the hot baking sheet and return to the oven.
  9. Bake for 10 mins before removing from the oven.
  10. Rest for 5 mins before serving skin side up on the hot lentils with the mustard sauce. Be careful when handling the cod as it is very fragile and breaks easily.