Even the name, cod wrapped in Parma ham with grilled peaches, mint and basil makes you think of summer on a plate, and it looks like it too. It’s the perfect Saturday, date night meal. Plus it’s so easy to prepare.
This dish is actually inspired by two meals I had recently. The first, and definitely the most glamorous, was sitting on the terrace of a beautiful little restaurant on the banks of Lake Como. One of my favourite things about Italy is obviously the food. Not only the taste but the quality of ingredients and the fact that they cook locally and seasonally. Each region still has very definitely styles and tastes.
Nine times out of ten when I’m in Italy I will order pasta. However, this restaurant was more on the fancy side so I decided to order pasta as a starter knowing it would be on the smaller side that the standard plates of pasta Italians love (it too was delicious).
Also the main courses really called to me, I struggled to choose between two but eventually settled on roasted sea bass fillets with peaches and mint. It was just delicious and I loved the combination of the sweet peaches with mint.
Then a couple of weeks ago my mum and I went to the Crabshakk in Glasgow. If you love seafood, this is the place to go in Glasgow. It’s tiny, so make sure you book, but the food is incredible. They have lots of fresh, simply cooked seafood on their main menu, whole crab, grilled langoustines and steamed mussels alongside their daily specials which were a bit more “cheffy”.
On the day we dined, one of the starter specials was confit of salmon with grilled peaches and a basil oil. It immediately reminded me of that amazing dish in Lake Como.
So I’d been dying to recreate this combination of flavours and came up with this cod wrapped in Parma ham with grilled peaches, mint and basil.
Codes often not a fish I would eat regularly as I often think it’s a bit bland, but I love wrapping it in smoky, salty Parma ham. Now where did the ham come from? Well peaches and Parma ham is such a beautiful combination that I knew the saltiness of the Parma ham would work wonderfully in this dish. Together with the mix of both mint and basil that I loved so much in both dishes, it creates the most wonderful plate of summer flavours.
Simple to prepare but sure enough will impress any guests.
And what better a drink to serve this with than a delicious classic peach Bellini (post tomorrow). Cheers!
- 4 cod loins
- 8 slices of Parma ham
- 2 ripe peaches
- 350 grams frozen peas
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Small bunch of mint
- Small bunch of basil
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet with foil and a little oil. Lay out a strip of Parma ham, and another one on top, overlapping by about a third. Repeat with the remaining Parma ham.
- Blot the cod with some kitchen paper to remove any excess liquid. Place each cod loin on top of the Param ham and season with a little black pepper. Fold over the ham and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut each peach into quarters. In a hot griddle pan, grill each side of the peaches and 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Cook the frozen peas in a pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until cooked. While coking, finely chop the mint and basil and add to a little dish with 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. When the peas have cooked, drain and add 2 tablespoons of the herb oil with a little salt. Stir well and smash the peas a little.
- To plate, add the peas to a shallow bowl or plate along with the few rocket leaves. Top with the fish and the grilled peaches. Drizzle the remaining herb oil on each plate.