Pistachio Crusted Cod with an Escarole Salad + Orange Lime Vinaigrette

Few things bring me as much joy as when I create a delicious healthy dinner recipe. It just feels great to eat great, especially when the food tastes great. This pistachio crusted cod is one of those recipes. I know it’s the dead of winter here on the east coast, but citruses are actually very much in season. That’s why I decided to pair this flaky delicate fish with a bright and bitter escarole salad with an orange lime vinaigrette.

This dish is:

  • light
  • bright
  • refreshing
  • rejuvenating
  • zesty
  • tangy
  • well-rounded: a little sweet, yet savory and salty
  • healthy AF

I want to note that you can crust any fish with the method used in this video and recipe (it doesn’t have to be cod.) You can also put this dressing on any greens, but I prefer it on bitter, bolder greens such as escarole, radicchio, endive or arugula. I used minneola oranges in this dressing because I found them at the super market and was very intrigued by this tangerine/grapefruit hybrid, but you can also use any kind of orange! As always, that’s the beauty of cooking in your house. There are no rules except: don’t burn the house down, don’t injure yourself, and don’t cause food poisoning by undercooking or under-washing food. Other than that, you are golden.

a bright plate of pistachio crusted cod with an escarole salad and orange lime vinaigrette
a bright plate of pistachio crusted cod with an escarole salad and orange lime vinaigrette

Pistachio Crusted Cod with an Escarole Salad + Orange Lime Vinaigrette

Crunchy, sweet and salty pistachio crusted cod with an escarole side salad, coated in bright, zesty orange lime vinaigrette. This entire meal for two is gluten-free and takes 30 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Seafood
Servings 2


  • Food processor or blender (for dressing)
  • Meat thermometer (optional but preferred)


Orange Lime Vinaigrette

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice I used Minneola oranges, can also sub for Mandarin
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp orange zest washed
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • 2 cod filets I used skinless with bones removed, but it's not necessary to do skinless
  • 1 cup pistachios without shelves
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp water
  • Olive oil for pan-searing


  • 2 1/2 cups escarole lettuce torn into bite sized pieces
  • 8 orange slices for topping
  • 2 tbsp crushed pistachios reserved from the cup for coating, used for topping
  • Orange zest to taste


Salad Dressing

  • In a food processor, pulse the 3 cloves of garlic until finely minced.
  • Add the orange juice, lime juice, red wine vinegar, salt, honey and orange zest. Purée the liquid until there are no chunks.
  • If your food processor allows, slowly incorporate the olive oil into the acidic mixture while it's blending. If your processor doesn't allow, blend the olive oil, 1/3 at a time, until the acid and oil is fully incorporated.
  • Pour the vinaigrette into a jar or bowl and set aside. Clean the food processor out.


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pour the pistachios into the food processor and pulse until crushed. The consistency should be the middle ground between coarse and fine. *You don't want a fine powder!*
  • Remove 2 tbsp of the crushed pistachios and set them aside for your salad.
  • Add the rest of the crushed pistachios to a large bowl or pan, big enough for you to dip and flatten the fish filets. Set this bowl to the side.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together 1 large egg and 1 tsp of water until thoroughly scrambled. Place this bowl next to the crushed pistachio bowl.
  • Finally, put 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour into in another large bowl or pan and place that next to the egg wash bowl. The lineup should be: flour, egg wash, then pistachios, in that order. Then, put a plate or cutting board next to the pistachio bowl. You will put each filet onto the plate or cutting board after you coat it in pistachios.
  • Pat the cod filets dry with a paper towel on all sides. Set them aside next to the flour bowl.
  • Choose one hand to be your dry hand, and one hand to be your wet hand. With the dry hand, dip the cod filet in the flour until its fully coated on all sides.
  • Pick up the fish with your dry hand and transfer it to your wet hand. With the wet hand, dip the fish into the egg wash until it's fully coated in the egg mixture.
  • Place the fish into the bowl of pistachios. Use the dry hand to sprinkle pistachios around the sides of the fish until it's fully coated. Then, put the fully coated fish onto the cutting board. Repeat with the next fillet.
  • Season a large oven-safe skillet with olive oil on medium high heat, until the olive oil is shimmering. Lower the heat if it begins to smoke, we do not want to burn the crust!
  • Place the cod onto the skillet and let the fish sear for 30 seconds-1 minute, until one side is light golden brown. Flip and repeat on all four sides of the fish.
  • Transfer the pan to the oven and let it bake for 5 minutes. When it's done, check the internal temperature of the fish. If it's below 130, put it back in for 2-3 more minutes and continue to check until the temperature is 130 or above. If the temp is 130 or above, remove the fish from the heat and set aside.


  • While the cod is in the oven, toss the greens in about 4 tsp of dressing (or to taste.) Save any leftover dressing to put onto the fish, or for another day!
  • Plate with orange slices and sprinkle crushed pistachios on top of the salad.
  • Add the fish to the plate next to the salad. Zest an orange around the plate for a pop of color and flavor. Sprinkle any extra crushed pistachios on top of the fish.
  • Serve immediately!
Keyword cod, escarole, minneola orange, orange lime vinaigrette, pistachio crusted cod, pistachios
a bright plate of pistachio crusted cod with an escarole salad and orange lime vinaigrette

5 thoughts on “Pistachio Crusted Cod with an Escarole Salad + Orange Lime Vinaigrette”

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this one!! It was easier to make than I expected and it is definitely an impressive looking dish. The orange lime vinaigrette is incredible. I’ve been making the vinaigrette regularly and keeping it in the fridge to add to salads. In this particular recipe, I didn’t have escarole, but it pairs well with any greens.

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