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Poached Cod with Tarragon and Cherry Tomatoes - a quick and delicious dinner that is flavorful and healthy!

Tomatoes…and more tomatoes…we’ve still got tons of ripe tomatoes in our garden right now, so we’re eating and cooking with them as fast as we can!  But I’m not complaining at all – garden tomatoes are the best!

This recipe for Poached Cod with Tarragon and Cherry Tomatoes is one of our latest, favorite recipes using cherry (or grape) tomatoes.  It’s another quick-to-prepare dinner option that is both very delicious and healthy!  Cherry tomatoes and fresh cod fillets are sautéed for a few minutes in a hot skillet.  Then white wine, a little bit of butter, and chopped fresh tarragon are added to create a wonderful sauce for poaching the cod and tomatoes until they are tender and cooked through.

Poached Cod with Tarragon and Cherry Tomatoes - a quick and delicious dinner that is flavorful and healthy!

This recipe is so simple – your dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes – and the flavors are really fantastic!  Fresh tarragon is wonderful paired with the fresh cherry tomatoes that, when poached, have both an acidity and a sweetness. And the tarragon and tomato together are the perfect complement to the fresh flavors of codfish.

Served over a bed of white basmati rice along with a wedge of fresh lemon, this poached cod with tarragon and cherry tomatoes is a perfect quick, weeknight dinner – but it’s also delicious enough that you could serve this for a casual dinner party as well!

Adapted from The Boston Globe.

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Poached Cod with Cherry Tomatoes - A Family Feast

Poached Cod with Tarragon and Cherry Tomatoes

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 13 mins
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 pounds skinless, boneless cod fillets (about 1” thick), cut into two pieces
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • Cooked white basmati rice, for serving
  • 2 lemon wedges, for garnish


  1. In a large skillet with cover, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.
  2. Push the tomatoes to the sides of the pans and add the fish fillets. Cook the fish for two minutes (do not flip the fish).
  3. Pour the wine over the fish and place a teaspoon pat of butter on each piece of fish. Sprinkle the chopped tarragon over the fish.
  4. Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer on medium-high for 8 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the tomato skins begin to burst.
  5. Serve immediately over cooked white rice, topping the fish with the tomatoes and sauce. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

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  • Aviator32 wrote:

    Very good and easy. Had to use dried tarragon which was OK; fresh would have been better,

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you! We hope you’ll try it again with fresh tarragon!

  • aruvqan wrote:

    No court bouillion or cuisson? Then it is not poached, at best it is sweated. Poaching and braising require a fair amount of liquid. Not that it doesn’t sound delicious, but you could foil wrap and bake this en papillote for what it is worth. [I make a cod a la bretonne en papillote that uses about this much liquid and it is definitely not considered poached or braised.]

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment – and you are 100% correct! For us to use the term “poached” and to hold true to the definition of that term, the poaching liquid that cooks the fish should be a flavored broth with an acidic ingredient added to help with the denaturing process, and the fish should also be cooked over a very gentle heat. (We actually just talked about this exact process in another post that we recently published on poached chicken.)

      When I first made this particular recipe, we based it on another recipe that first sautéed the tomatoes before adding the fish and the wine – then the whole pan was supposed to be placed in the oven to roast and finish cooking the fish. I actually made a mistake and cooked the fish in the pan on our stovetop the entire time! There was – surprisingly – much more liquid in the pan than you might think just by reading the recipe. And the fish came out delicious – so we decided to feature the recipe as I made it, using the term ‘poached’ since there was quite a bit of liquid.

      Having said all of that, we do try to stay as true as possible to using correct culinary terms, and your point is a very valid one! Perhaps we underestimated our readers’ interest in, and understanding of, the various nuances of different cooking techniques – so we appreciate your correction. We will be updating the recipe later this week with a note that addresses your point about the correct use of the phrase “poached”.

      We very much appreciate your comments and hope you will write to us again as you see fit! Best, Martha

      • aruvqan wrote:

        Np, I just used to do this professionally =)

        A fair amount of liquid in the cod is a result of it denaturing – the protein structure is squeezed out like a sponge, which is why overcooking fish can make for a dry mealy mouthful.

        It is always fun when you oops and end up with something interesting after all =)

  • Christine @ 24 Carrot Kitchen wrote:

    This recipe looks delicious! I am cooking a lot more with fresh herbs these days and next summer I want to have more in my garden so they are readily available. This year I had basil, chives, thyme and parsley. I need to add tarragon.

    I am also in Mass. and like finding other food bloggers in the area. Your blog is awesome!

    • Martha Pesa wrote:

      Thanks Christine! We’re planning to add tarragon to our herb garden next year too! And – it’s nice to connect back with you too and I’m following you on Bloglovin now!! (I enjoyed your recent post on your vacation in CT and RI!) We’re in Plymouth, MA. Thanks for stopping by! Martha

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