Cod with Kale and Tomatoes

My parents enjoy buying local produce just as much as I do, so while visiting them up in Massachusetts, I had to check out the Scituate Farmers Market because it is within walking distance of their house! How lucky! There was no farmers market down the street when I was growing up so it made me thrilled to see about a dozen or so tents set up on a hot Wednesday afternoon. Since the kiddos and I made an impromptu stop there at the end of a very long day out and about in the hot summer heat, I first spent 6 of the 20 dollars I had in my pocket on frozen Del’s lemonade. Delicious. Happy kids meant mama could check out all the stalls. Happy kids also meant that mama had 6 fewer dollars to spend on produce. (There’s always next week…)

The curly kale … delicious raw or cooked

With my limited dollars I purchased some amazing hummus that barely made it back up the street before being devoured and I also managed to bring home some beautiful produce from the fabulous farm stand of Sweet Georgia P’s – an organic farm located right down the street here in Scituate. Wearing one mildly fussy baby, trailed by three small children slurping lemonade, I handed over $10 and asked to get whatever amount of kale and tomatoes that could buy. I was instantly rewarded with a gorgeous bunch of kale and two enormous tomatoes and we promptly headed home.

The original recipe  

One of the perks of visiting my parents is that my dad is a fantastic cook! I laid out the kale and tomatoes on the counter and politely asked if he would make some of his world-famous cod simmered with tomatoes and, just for fun, let’s add this beautiful kale. He instantly agreed. My dad is the kind of cook that likes to follow recipes word-for-word every single time he makes something and, if he alters the recipe in any way, he instantly takes a pen from his pocket and notes it right on the card. How I wish I had such discipline! This recipe is a slight variation from a recipe he tore out of a newspaper years ago – either from the Patriot Ledger or the Boston Globe – there is no date on the recipe or any other markings that might give us a little clue as to its true origin. With that in mind, consider the photo my attribution. My dad changed up a few ingredients and roughly doubles the recipe every time so that it feeds about 6 people.


2 cups rice, prepared

2 lbs. cod, cut into about 6 to 8 pieces
A few tablespoons olive oil
2 vidalia onions, chopped
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes, do not drain
2 teaspoons sugar
Crushed red pepper flakes – 3 to 5 shakes
1 bunch of kale, leaves stripped from the stems, chopped if you wish


1. Salt and pepper the cod. Set aside.
2. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the onion first because it needs to cook a little bit longer.
3. Add the diced tomatoes, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
4. Gently place the piece of cod on top of the tomatoes. Spoon a little bit of tomato over the top of the cod and cover. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes until the fish is white.
5. Remove the cover and place the kale over the top of the fish. Don’t stir or it will break up the fish. Put the cover back on and let the whole dish cook for about another three to five minutes until the kale has wilted.
6. Gently spoon the fish and the delicious tomato sauce with kale over a bed of rice. Enjoy!

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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