Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw for #SundaySupper

Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw | Magnolia DaysCitrus and seafood go together like peanut butter and chocolate. It’s a magical combination in the food world. One enhances the other and brings out the best in both. Chocolate on its own is lovely. Add peanut butter and it’s divine. Citrus gives a certain freshness to seafood no matter how it is prepared. One of my favorite combinations is seared cod with grapefruit fennel slaw. I’ve made it often during grapefruit season. Sometimes I switch out the fish to halibut depending on availability.

I discovered this dish years ago. If you have been following along my blog, you may remember how my husband and I have very different tastes in seafood (not counting shellfish). He only wants it battered and fried. I want it every way except that. I’ll take it raw (sushi/sashimi), steamed, seared, broiled, grilled, and roasted. Back when he worked evening shifts is when I cooked more seafood for myself. Seared cod with grapefruit fennel slaw was one of my go-to meals. I like the slaw so much I would eat the leftovers with sandwiches or as a side.

Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw | Magnolia Days

One thing is learned to do is segmenting a grapefruit. I’m not fond of the chewy membranes and I don’t think many people like them either. It is why most people cut a grapefruit in half and dig out the pulp. To segment, cut off the top and bottom, cut off the peel and pith, and then cut out the pulp close to the membrane. Handle the segments delicately because they will come apart easily. They will come apart in the slaw after it sits for a bit. It does not affect the flavor, it is only a visual change.

Citrus goes with much more than seafood. Have you seen my citrus cocktail? Or lemon pie tartlets? Or salad dressing? There are more recipes to be discovered too. Scroll down to find them.

Seared Cod with Grapefruit Fennel Slaw
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Yield: Makes 4 servings
For the grapefruit fennel slaw:
  • 1 large grapefruit
  • ¼ cup grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated grapefruit zest
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • ¼ cup pitted Greek olives, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
For the seared cod:
  • 1 tablespoon light cooking oil
  • 4 pieces cod, 6 ounces each with skin and bones removed
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Fennel fronds for garnish
For the grapefruit fennel slaw:
  1. Zest the grapefruit first and add the zest to a large bowl.
  2. Cut off top, bottom and the outside peel and pith from the grapefruit. Over a small bowl, use a knife to cut out the segments. Cut as close to the membranes as possible. Lift out the segments and place on a plate. When finished squeeze all the juice from what is left of the grapefruit.
  3. Cut the fennel bulb in half. Cut out the hard core in the center. Thinly slice the fennel using a mandoline or as thinly as possible with a knife. (Possible alternative to slice/shred with a food processor). Place the fennel slices in the large bowl with the zest.
  4. Add the grapefruit juice, olives, parsley, salt, and pepper flakes to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the olive oil and stir to combine. Add the grapefruit segments and gently stir to combine.
For the seared cod:
  1. Place a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat until almost smoking. Season the cod with salt and pepper. Add the cod to the pan and cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness. The cod should be lightly browned and will flake easily.
To serve:
  1. Divide the slaw onto 4 plates. Top with the cod. Garnish with fennel fronds. Serve immediately.
The grapefruit segments will come apart the longer the slaw sets or if stirred too much.

Recipe adapted from one by Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network website.

Today’s Sunday Supper event is all about celebrating citrus. Get your juicer and zester ready because there are so many wonderful recipes you will want to try:

Better with Citrus Breakfasts:

Big On Citrus Breads & Condiments:

Make You Pucker Salads, Sides, & Main Dishes:

Sour Citrusy Sweets & Desserts:

Sour Sips & Drinks:

It’s time to head to the store and get more fruit. I am certainly craving citrus after reading all those recipes. Now what will I make next? Who knows. Which citrus fruit would you want to use first?

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Announcing the Food and Wine Conference sponsored by Sunday Supper! It’s being held in July in beautiful, sunny Orlando, FL. It’s a must for food bloggers. Check it out by clicking here -> Food and Wine Conference

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  1. says

    Your grapefruit fennel slaw recipe and photo looks so good! What a brilliant invention. And, yes, you are right. Citrus is the perfect compliment to fish.

    P.s. Happy to show you the best sushi places in LA =)

    • says

      Thanks Lane. You are lucky to have fresh-picked grapefruit so plentiful around you in Florida. I wish it was that way here in Georgia.

  2. Bea says

    I love fennel, and citrus plus I need to incorporate more fish into our diet. This is the perfect dish!!! Thank you :)

  3. says

    I usually don’t cook fish fillets too often (the place that sells fresh seafood is a 40 minute trip over the mountain, which means I rarely go, which means I don’t want to buy fish and store in the freezer which is now broken…), but if I do get a piece of fish and can cook it that night or the next day, I know I’ll have to try this cod!

    • says

      It’s a drive for me to get fresh fish too. At least recently a store opened that is somewhat closer. I wish the grocery store by my house had a better selection.

  4. says

    I love the recipe for the grapefruit fennel slaw!! I have some fennel in the fridge and now wished I had grapefruit and olives too.

    • says

      Now that’s a good thing if he fries the fish outside. I’ll have to do that if I ever fry fish for my husband. Glad I have a side burner on my grill. I could grill mine and fry his at the same time.

    • says

      Thanks Lyn! I wondered about grapefruit and fennel before I made it for the first time. One taste and I knew it was an awesome combo.

  5. says

    What an absolutely beautiful plate of food! I have never thought to try grapefruit with a savory dish like this…but you have me convinced…the grapefruit fennel slaw sounds amazing!

  6. says

    My husband loves all seafood but he is not a fan of grapefruit so I am putting this on my list of things to make next time he travels. I can just imagine the flavor mix of grapefruit and fennel and I know I will love it! Especially with some seared cod.

  7. Diana @GourmetDrizzles says

    I love the blending of grapefruit with the fennel, and olives- fantastic! Sounds like a perfect meal, and so pretty! Thanks for sharing 😉

  8. says

    The Husband and I love fish, no matter how it’s made. This sounds lovely, Renee, the perfect light, fresh, vibrant spring-time dinner. Thanks for the tips on segmenting grapefruit – I’ve got one sitting in the fridge just waiting for me to eat :)

    • says

      Thanks Nancy! Good for you that your husband like seafood the same as you. It must make it easy when you are craving fish and can make it however you want and it’s for the both of you.

  9. Sarah says

    I will take seafood anyway you give it to me! I love it raw, steamed, grilled broiled and DEEP FRIED! I love a good fish and chips. Yummy! But this looks so much better! I bet that slaw makes an amazing combo with the cod. Lots and lots of olives for me please!

  10. says

    Love that slaw and it must go so well with that cod ! Delish. I often bake Bass. Next time I can try pairing with this slaw ! love grapefruit too !


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