Here's an all-in-one weeknight dinner that also makes a really nice lunch for a group of friends. Steaming the fish over a bed of par-cooked orzo keeps it moist and flaky, while the pasta gets just enough moisture to get to al dente.

Serves 4


  • 4 (1/2-inch thick) fresh, or frozen, cod fillets, thawed (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse salt
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


    Heat oven to 400°. Bring a medium pot of water to boil with the lemon-zest strips. Add the salt and orzo and boil the orzo for 8 minutes—it won't be quite done yet; it'll finish cooking in the oven. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the orzo in a colander. Discard the lemon-zest strips. Transfer the orzo to an 8x8-inch glass, or ceramic, baking dish and toss it with the olive oil to coat.

    Mix all of the gremolata ingredients together in a small bowl.

    Season the cod fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.

    Pour the reserved pasta water over the orzo in the baking dish. Arrange the cod fillets on top. Spoon the gremolata over each of the fillets. Cover the dish tightly with foil.

    Bake until the fish is cooked through and opaque and the orzo is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes.

    From The 8x8 Cookbook: Square Meals for Weeknight Family Dinners, Desserts and More—in One Perfect 8x8-Inch Dish, by Kathy Strahs (Burnt Cheese Press, 2015). Reprinted with full permission.

    Next Story