Poached Cod & Asparagus

Poached Cod & Asparagus

In this recipe, we poach the cod right on top of the asparagus. The result is perfectly cooked cod and tender-crisp asparagus. The sauce is our take on beurre blanc—a traditional French sauce made with wine and lots of butter. Ours uses a little cornstarch for thickening and a judicious amount of butter for flavor.

From EatingWell: March/April 2011
Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  1. 1 lemon, divided
  2. 1 cup dry white wine
  3. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  4. 1 tablespoon thinly sliced shallot
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 5 whole black peppercorns
  7. 1 1/4 pounds cod (see Tip), cut into 4 equal portions
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  10. 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  11. 1 1/2 bunches asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed
  12. 1/2 cup water
  13. 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Juice half the lemon into a small saucepan; reserve the other half. Whisk in wine and cornstarch until combined. Add shallot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about half, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle cod with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place a tarragon sprig on each portion. Thinly slice the remaining lemon half and lay the slices over the tarragon.
  3. Place asparagus in an even layer in a large skillet. Add 1/2 cup water. Place the cod on top of the asparagus. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook until the asparagus is tender and the fish is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the reduced sauce through a sieve into a bowl. Return it to the pan. Over low heat, swirl butter into the sauce 1 tablespoon at a time until melted. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from the heat.
  5. Serve the fish and asparagus topped with the sauce.

Tips & Notes


Nutrition Per Serving: 228 calories; 7 g fat (4 g sat, 2 g mono); 61 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrates; 25 g protein; 2 g fiber; 395 mg sodium; 747 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Nutrition bonus: Folate (34% dv), Vitamin C (22% dv), Potassium & Vitamin A (21% dv).

1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat