If Aladdin was a home cook, with a 9 to 5 job, one of his three wishes would surely have been meals that magically appear on the table, every weeknight. Especially Tuesdays, there’s something particularly exhausting about Tuesdays. But since magic lamps are rare – or maybe nonexistent – every Tuesday, I scout the other magical place aka the internet for uncomplicated, effortless dishes. And the closest I’ve come to having food magically (ahm, ‘with least effort’) appear on the table is with traybake.
Traybake is every tired and busy-but-perennially-hungry home cook’s magic lamp. Toss all ingredients into the tray, season with salt and pepper, pop it in the oven and wait for dinner to prepare itself. The best part? Minimal prep and minimal post-cooking cleanup.
With traybakes, there’s no limit to experimentation. Start with a protein of your choice, add veggies (or fruits!), and season with desired spices. My personal favorite traybake recipe is cod, tomato, and olive traybake. Every Tuesday, it’s either this or cajun spiced shrimps.
Cod wrapped in parma ham and traybaked with cherry tomato and olive is a concoction of deliciousness. When baked together for a good 30 minutes, the ingredients take on each other’s flavors. The tartness of tomatoes and brininess of olives complement the mild sweetness of cod, and the veggies, macerated in ham juice, soak up a rich umami flavor. Once baked, the ham turns lightly crispy which pairs well with flaky-soft cod and little pulps of cherry tomatoes and olives.
So the next time you’re low on motivation or energy to prep, make, and clean up after a tedious dinner, try out this cod, tomato, and olive traybake. It’s hassle-free, healthy, and hearty, all in one.
Making Cod Traybake with Cherry Tomato and Olive:
Preheat oven to 390°F.
In a roasting dish or tray, arrange thinly sliced onion rings and cherry tomatoes. Make sure the veggies are evenly spread out in the tray. Drizzle olive oil on top and roast for 15 minutes at 390°F.
While cherry tomatoes and olives are roasting, wrap the cod with ham slices. Lay a strip of ham on a flat surface, place a piece of cod and one end and roll it up gently (like sushi).
Remove roasted cherry tomatoes and olives from the oven and place ham-wrapped cod loins on top. Add olives, and season with onion salt and ground black pepper. Top off with a sprig of fresh cilantro and roast for 15 to 20 minutes at 390°F, till ham is tender and cod is cooked.
Once cod is tender, remove and rest for 5 minutes. Then place a piece on a serving plate, scoop out juices from the baking tray, and pour over cod. Add vegetables on top and serve hot!
6 cod loins, 125 gms. each
3 cups cherry tomatoes
½ cup green olives
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp olive oil
4 slices parma ham
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
A few sprigs of fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 390°F (200°C)
- Arrange onion slices and cherry tomatoes in a baking tray. Drizzle olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.
- Once cherry tomatoes and olives are roasted, remove tray from the oven and place cod loins wrapped in ham on top. Add olives, cilantro and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place the tray back in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 390°F, till fish is cooked. Remove and rest for 5 minutes and then serve hot.