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Photo Credit: Robin Selden

Spiced Cod to Keep Your Latkes Company

It’s natural to focus on latkes and creative fried alternatives when we feel like we are, ahem, obligated to sizzle all sorts of treats in hot oil for Chanukah celebrations. But what are you serving as your main dish?

We like to serve something loaded with vegetables in order to relieve just a wee bit o’guilt.

We’re turning to more fish this year so why not for Chanukah? This Spiced Cod with Celery Root Puree from Marcia Selden Catering and Event Planning is a natural to serve alongside a cheesy latke like this one.

chanukah hanukka breakfast latke potato pancake
Photo: Liz Rueven

Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year!

Type: Fish, pareve (dairy Free), gluten-free
4 6 oz Cod Fillets, skin off
4 oz Chanterelle Mushrooms
16 Asparagus Spears
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to tasteFor the Spice Rub:3 T Dried Lemon Zest
3 ½ t Fennel Seeds
2 t Anise Seeds
½ t Red Pepper Flakes
3 t Flaked Sea Salt
Cheese ClothFor the Celery Root Puree:1 large Celery Root, peeled, chopped into medium sized chunks
2 cloves Garlic, smashed
1 Bay Leaf
1 t Black Peppercorns
1 Rosemary Sprig
Salt to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the celery root puree:

Place the bay leaf, peppercorn, and rosemary in a cheese cloth. This is your ‘flavor bouquet’. Put everything, including the salt in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until celery root is soft enough to be pureed. Stick a knife into the celery root and if it comes off the knife easily, it is ready.

Take out the flavor bouquet and strain the celery root and garlic, leaving ½ cup of water. Puree until smooth using a stick blender or food processor, adding more water if needed. Keep warm until ready to serve. If not serving immediately, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.


For the spice rub:

In a small sauté pan, toast the dried lemon zest, fennel seeds, anise seeds and red pepper flakes over medium heat until fragrant. Cool, and then grind in a spice grinder with sea salt.
Take the mushrooms and cut in halves or quarters depending on their size.
Sauté them in olive oil and when cooked, season with salt and pepper; we like to season mushrooms after they are done cooking because they shrink so much.
Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.
Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to boil, and blanch the asparagus for one minute and then immediately place in an ice bath.
Heat up a medium sized saucepan with oil until the oil is smoking, add the tomatoes to the pan for a few seconds, until they are blistered and then remove from the pan. Set aside with the mushrooms.
Prepare the fish by lightly seasoning with salt and pepper. Pat the spice rub on the top side of the fish and place it on a greased sheet pan.
Bake for ten minutes.
Spoon the celery root puree in the middle of the plate and place the fish on top. Add the vegetables over the fish and enjoy!



Celery root puree may be prepared up to three days in advance. Store in refrigerator.