4 oz. fresh spinach leaves, de-stemmed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
4 oz. red bell pepper, finely chopped
Crispy Alaska Cod:
1/2 cup panko, or fine bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon cornmeal
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
4 Alaska Cod fillets (4 to 6 oz. each), fresh, thawed or frozen
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Prepare pesto by placing all ingredients in a food processor except for the Feta cheese and red bell pepper; pulse gently until coarsely minced. Remove from food processor to a bowl and stir in the Feta cheese and red bell pepper; set aside.
Preheat broiler oven to 450ºF. In a small bowl, mix the panko, cornmeal, oregano, garlic powder, lemon pepper and butter to make a paste. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Rinse any ice glaze from frozen Alaska Cod under cold water; pat dry with paper towel. Brush both sides of fillets generously with olive oil. Place cod in heated skillet and cook, uncovered, until lightly browned, moving fillets gently and adding small amounts of oil as needed to keep fillets from sticking. Without turning fillets over, cook 3/4 of the way through, about 5 to 6 minutes for frozen cod or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed fish.
Remove fillets from skillet and place in a large baking pan, browned-side down. Pat fillet tops dry with paper towel. Brush generously with lemon juice, then spread with panko/butter mixture. Place fillets in broiler and cook until the coating is crispy, about 2 to 4 minutes. Cook just until fish is opaque throughout.
To serve, top with a generous dollop of pesto and garnish with fresh oregano.
Cook’s tip: Depending on the saltiness of your Feta, you may need to add additional salt to the pesto.