Fogo island cod with ratatouille

Director Ivan Reitman's Toronto restaurant, Montecito, dishes up home-friendly versions of sure-to-be celebrity favourites.

Makes 6

INGREDIENTS

• 2 lbs ratatouille (recipe follows)
• 6 5-oz portions of cod
• 1 cup cooked crispy polenta (recipe follows)
• ½ cup picked parsley, basil and oregano leaves
• 500 ml parsley-sunflower pesto (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS

1. Warm up the ratatouille in a medium saucepan over low heat.

2. Salt the cod and sear each piece skin-side down on a large cast iron pan over high heat. Finish cooking in the oven.

3. Roll the polenta cubes in cornstarch. Deep fry or pan fry until golden on all sides.

4. Fold the herbs into the ratatouille and divide it into 6 bowls. Add the fish skin-side-up and the polenta cubes around it. Top with the pesto.


Ratatouille

• 1 red onion, 1 eggplant, 2 yellow zucchini, 2 green zucchini, 2 red peppers, 1 lb tomato sauce, all medium dice

Sauté the vegetables individually over high heat. Transfer to a large pot and cover with the tomato sauce. Reduce over medium heat until cooked. Cool until needed.

Crispy polenta

• ¼ cup whole milk
• 1 cup water
• ¼ cup artisanal cornmeal
• cornstarch, for dusting

Boil the milk and water, and slowly add the cornmeal as you stir. Simmer on medium-low for 30 to 45 minutes until cooked. Pour into a greased sheet pan, allow to cool and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut the polenta into 24 cubes, and reserve until needed.

Parsley-sunflower pesto

• ½ cup sunflower seeds, toasted
• 1 shallot, sliced
• 1 Anaheim chili, sliced
• ½ bushel parsley, chopped
• 1 lemon, zest and juice
• 1 head roasted garlic
• 250 ml spinach leaves
• 75 ml sunflower oil or vegetable oil
• salt, to taste

Add the seeds, shallots, chilies and lemon zest and juice to the bowl of a food processor and pulse. Add the garlic, parsley, spinach and blend. While blending, stream in the oil until it comes together. Adjust seasoning and set aside.

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