Black Cod in Saffron and Tomato Broth

Tracee Spagnolo
by Tracee Spagnolo
2 servings
1 hr

SAFFRON, the worlds most amazing spice!

Keeping on my Mediterranean theme this week, I made this beautiful Spanish Black Cod in a Saffron and Tomato Broth. You could really use any white fish if you wanted to because the star is that delicious yellow, fragrant broth!

Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world! It was said to have first originated in Greece, but today it’s primarily grown in Iran, Greece, Morocco, and India. Did you know that it can take up to 1000 flowers to produce just one ounce of saffron? Crazy right…maybe that’s why its so expensive! 😮

Either way it is worth trying, especially since this dish was super easy, yet elegant helping you wow your family and friends. You can usually find Saffron in specialty grocery stores or you can always order it online.

My southern roots kicked in last minute and I decided to throw in some grilled okra since it’s in season and it paired perfectly. I also grilled some heirloom squash and served those on the side. My next thing to try with Saffron is definitely going to be an easier version of Paella or maybe Milanese Risotto. Check out the full recipe below...

Black Cod in Saffron and Tomato Broth

Broth prep

Deglazing the pan

Black Cod in Saffron and Tomato Broth
Recipe details
  • 2  servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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Saffron and Tomato sauce
  • 2 oz Pancetta
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/4 onion (just roughly chopped into large pieces)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon, then slice the other half into thin rings
  • Pinch of saffron threads (about 1 tsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp Salt
Seared Black Cod
  • 2 pieces Black Cod (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
Grilled Okra
  • 10 okra (sliced in half, lengthwise)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
Saffron and Tomato Broth
Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add pancetta to the pan and cook down until crispy, about 5 mins.
Add in the garlic and onions into the pan and sauté for about 3-4 mins until they start to get soft.
Add in the lemon slices and let brown slightly on each side(about 1 min per side)
Add in the tomatoes into the pan and let them break down a bit before adding in the wine(about 5 mins).
Add in wine to deglaze the pan. Make sure and scrape up any of the crusty bits on the bottom of the pan and let the wine reduce in half.
Next add in the fish stock, saffron and lemon zest. Let the sauce cook down for about 6-7 mins and the sauce is thickened.
Add in the butter at the end and season with salt before adding in the fish.
Seared fish into the Broth
For the fish, season with salt and pepper and leave out to become room temperature.
Once sauce is done, heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a separate sauté pan to medium-high heat, and sear the fish skin side down for about 2-3 minutes until slightly crispy.
Next, transfer the fish into the saffron broth skin side down and start to let simmer in the broth.
You will want to continue to spoon the broth on top of the fish with a spoon so that the saffron broth infuses into the fish. You will want to cook the fish in the broth between 3-6 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. Mine was on the thicker side so it cooked for up to 6 minutes. Rule of thumb is 3 minutes for 1/4 inch- thick fillet, up to 6 minutes for an inch-thick fillet.
Grilled Okra
Slice Okra in half lengthwise, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.
While the sauce is cooking, heat your inside stovetop grill on medium high heat or outside gas grill to the same.
Grill each of the okra for about 1 1/2- 2 minutes per side. If using the gas grill, place the okra on the bottom grates for 1 1/2 -2 minutes, then transfer them to the top(less hot) part for the other side. Make sure okra are tender to the bite before taking off.
Once complete toss into the saffron tomato broth with the fish.
  • If you can't find Black Cod, you could use any other flakey white fish like Halibut, Barramundi, or even Chilean Sea bass.
  • You can often find Saffron in specialty stores or online, but a little goes a long way.
  • The Okra can be grilled ahead of time since it will be reheated in the sauce.
Tracee Spagnolo
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