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Seared Cod with Bacon, Braised Fennel, and Kale

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 fillet and about 1 cup kale mixture)

It’s easy to get your vegetable fix in winter with this simple fennel and kale skillet supper. First, sear the cod fillets in the bacon drippings to get a good crust, then add back to the pan and cover so they can steam and impart their juices on the vegetable mixture. You can use any flaky fish in place of cod, such as grouper or snapper. We love the colorful pop of multicolored mini peppers, but a red or yellow bell pepper would also work. If you think you’re not a fan of fennel, try it here—the slices will mellow considerably once sautéed and steamed.


  • 2 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 4 (6-oz.) cod fillets, skinned
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel
  • 1 cup sliced mini bell peppers
  • 4 cups stemmed, chopped lacinato kale
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 205
  • fat 6.6 g
  • satfat 2.1 g
  • monofat 2.6 g
  • polyfat 1 g
  • protein 30 g
  • carbohydrate 5 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • cholesterol 2 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 493 mg
  • calcium 63 mg
  • sugars 3 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add fish to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes on one side or until golden. Remove fish from pan (fish will not be cooked through).

  2. Add sliced fennel and bell peppers to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add kale to pan; arrange fish on top of kale. Add stock to pan; cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until kale is wilted and fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with bacon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, parsley, fennel fronds, and vinegar.