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Our chilly spring slowed things down at the farmers’ markets, but now everything is green! This is the first spring dish I make when the explosion of vegetables begins. I love it because it celebrates the season and because I can load it with as many vegetables as I want. It is classy and elegant—and healthy without being spartan.

The success of this dish rests on taking your time cutting the vegetables into bite-size pieces so they become tender and give up their flavor quickly. They don’t have to be identical in size, but they do have to fit on a spoon. Make this when you’re in the mood for some meditative knife work. 

For the green sauce, use any combination of soft herbs that you like—such as parsley, coriander, chives, dill, tarragon, mint—or just use one. But stay away from more assertive herbs like sage, oregano, and rosemary. They will overpower these delicate vegetables.

Once the veggies are prepped, it all comes together in the time it takes to roast the fish—no more than 15 minutes. It goes like this …


For the green sauce:

2 cups of soft herbs 

1 garlic clove, grated or micro-planed

2 T capers, drained

2 T Dijon mustard

Juice of ½ lemon, or more to taste

1 cup olive oil

For the ragout: This list is a suggestion, use what you like and what is available.

1 ½ cups diced new potatoes

1 ½ cups green beans, diced

1 fennel bulb, tough outer leaves removed, cored then cut into eighths and each eighth diced

2 cups fresh peas, shelled

1 bunch asparagus, bottom third of stalk peeled and entire stalk sliced

6 radishes, quartered and sliced

1 bunch spring onions or scallions, sliced

1 bunch enoki mushrooms, about 3 ounces, trimmed and pulled apart into small bundles

1 small head of butter lettuce, sliced thinly crosswise into chiffonade

6 cups chicken stock

1 cup white wine or vermouth

3 Tablespoon cold butter

For the fish:

2 pounds cod cut into 4 portions, seasoned with salt and pepper, in a roasting pan ready to go in the oven.

(Of course, many types of fish would be delicious here.  I wouldn’t go with an oily fish, but that is a matter of preference.)


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Put all ingredients for the green sauce in a blender or food processor and blend till smooth. The sauce should be softly spoonable. Thin it with water if necessary, and taste for seasoning. Set aside. (Refrigerate if you are making more than 2 hours ahead.)

Bring the stock and wine to a simmer in a large shallow 3–4 qt pan.

Pop the fish in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. (10 minutes should do it for just about every piece of cod I’ve ever seen.)

Add the potatoes and green beans to stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add all other ingredients except lettuce and simmer another 4 minutes. Add the butter and stir constantly to blend in. The butter will emulsify, slightly enriching the texture and flavor of the ragout. Stir in the lettuce and remove from heat.

Remove fish from oven. Ladle the ragout into 4 shallow bowls. Gently place a portion of fish on top of each bowl. Generously spoon green sauce on fish.

Serve immediately with more green sauce for the table and, you guessed it, crusty warm bread.  

P.S. Leftover green sauce is for whisking into a vinaigrette, slathering on a sandwich, as a dip for chips and carrots, and on and on.

File it!

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About The Author

For Sarah Ross, everyday cooking is about winging it—with a classic or an old favorite recipe given to her by a friend. These are the recipes that get stained with spills from being on repeat, the ones to share.


  • That looks like spring on a plate!!

  • This sounds so delicious!!!

  • Our Farmers’ Market opens today. Now I know exactly what to look for besides the best croissants this side of the Atlantic.

  • Love this one!

  • The other thing that is good in green sauce or pesto of any kind is some fresh carrot tops. This looks delicious!

  • The concept is great, but I would cut out at least 1/2 the fat. This dish looks beautiful and healthy, but really, is not.

    • This looks so good! (The only concern for health would be if someone could not have butter at all-it comes up at approx 13 gram butter per serving as the only fats besides cod and olive oils could be substituted—but this is an ideal recipe for any diet and certainly much healthier than most meals!) I would totally recommend this for any of my patients. Signed, a physician who knits

      • The green sauce has one cup of olive oil. Per serving, that’s almost 500 calories from olive oil alone. But you’ll be okay if you’re judicious with the green sauce — she even has some suggestions for the leftovers.

    • So use low fat broth or stock or water and change the butter? I mean it looks pretty good to this old retired nurse. And I love the colors!!! And fresh veges!! Makes me want to grab a market bag…maybe my Thistle Bag or my WIP Entrelac scrap bag and head to a market. Except too hot in Texas for many of these veges now. Hottest May on record! Knit on!!!

  • This looks great!

  • YUM! I’ve made my grocery list – gonna make it this weekend!

  • These lush images drew me in, I don’t normally make soup here in Australia this week where I live it has turned icey and wet.

    Made a few substitutions I used smoked cod, frozen peas, and the green herby sauce was amazing. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Thank you for all the lovely comments and for trying this recipe. I love to learn from others’ substitutions and changes. (Smoked cod sounds so good with all these sweet young vegetables). A word about the fat – and without debating the benefits or hazards of fat consumption – do leave out the butter at the end if you prefer. You will still have a delicious dish. And bear in mind you only need about 1 tablespoon of green sauce per person as it’s packed with flavor. So, about 15-20 grams of fat from olive oil, not too bad. Cheers!

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