Recipe and Photo by Chef Erin Coopey,

Rockfish with Smoked Paprika & Lentils

Serves: 4


For Lentils:

  • 1 rounded cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup small diced onion
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For Fish:

  • ½ cup arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground white pepper, plus a pinch
  • 1 tbsp pimenton picante (Spanish smoked paprika)*
  • 4 Rockfish or Cod fillets, 12 to 14 ounces each
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Lemon wedges for garnish


  1. Rinse and pick over lentils. Place in a sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until lentils are just tender. Drain and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add lentils and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm until fish is ready.
  2. Combine the arrowroot or cornstarch, salt, white pepper and pimeton in a baking dish. Lightly dredge the fish in the mixture. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and, when hot, add fish fillets. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side, then turn and cook an additional 2 to 4 minutes on the second side. Sprinkle with a little more pimenton.
  3. Divide lentils among 4 plates. Top each with a fillet, garnish with lemon, and serve.

*Note: Pimenton (Spanish Smoked Paprika) is the key to the unique flavor of this dish. Hungarian Paprika should not be substituted. Pimenton is available in gourmet groceries and specialty stores.