A simple delicious recipe for Seared Black Cod (or halibut, sea bass or scallops) served atop a lightened up Meyer Lemon Risotto drizzled with  Gremolata.  A perfect date-night dinner! 
 A simple delicious recipe for Seared Black Cod (or halibut, sea bass or scallops) served atop a lightened up Meyer Lemon Risotto drizzled with  Gremolata.  A perfect date-night dinner! 

This Black Cod with Meyer Lemon Risotto is light and tasty and elegant enough for a special occasion- birthdays, anniversaries or holidays.

It starts with a beautiful piece of fish- here we are using black cod, but halibut, sea bass, or even scallops will work. The fish is pan seared very simply then nestled atop Meyer Lemon Risotto,  then drizzled with Gremolata– a quick flavorful herby sauce of parsley, lemon zest, garlic and olive oil –  and to me, it’s a match made in heaven.

Serve this with blanched spring peas, or simple roasted asparagus, or these hazelnut green beans or even a side of 15-minute broccoli – and garnish with micro-greens for a fresh, healthy looking plate.

A simple delicious recipe for Seared Black Cod (or halibut, sea bass or scallops) served atop a lightened up Meyer Lemon Risotto drizzled with  Gremolata.  A perfect date-night dinner! 

The gremolata can be made ahead.

This fish only takes a few minutes.

It is the risotto that takes about 40 minutes- so plan accordingly.

Keep in mind, you can also cook the risotto in an instant pot with much less fuss- just be mindful of liquid ratios- you’ll need half the liquid (generally).

Searing fish with skin on

Here, the fish is seared with the skin on- giving it a nice crispness, but if skin is not your thing, simply buy it without.

TIP: If going for crispy skin, make sure to serve it skin side up, so it doesn’t get soggy in the risotto.

A simple delicious recipe for Seared Black Cod (or halibut, sea bass or scallops) served atop a lightened up Meyer Lemon Risotto drizzled with  Gremolata.  A perfect date-night dinner! 

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Seared Black Cod with Meyer Lemon Risotto and Gremolata

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 9 reviews


A delicious recipe for Meyer lemon risotto topped with seared white fish and drizzled with a flavorful lemon herb sauce, called gremolata.


Units Scale


  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cups aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 45 cups hot water or veggie broth or chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 meyer lemons, juice and zest
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (optional, but tasty)

Gremolata: (can be made ahead and refrigerated)

  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 meyer lemon- zest and 1 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 garlic clove- finely minced
  • generous pinch salt


  • 1 pound filet of Black Cod (or halibut, scallops, or seabass) skin on (optional) cut into 4 pieces
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • Garnish with micro greens, meyer lemon zest


  1. Make the risotto: In a medium heavy bottom pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, thyme and generous pinch salt, and saute until tender about 5-7 minutes. Add rice and saute 4 minutes, stirring often, using a wood spoon. Add wine, reduce heat to medium low and stir until fully absorbed about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 3/4 cup hot water (or broth) and stir until absorbed, and continue adding the remaining water, a 3/4 cup at a time (about 4 cups total) stirring every few minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes over medium low heat.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, the meyer lemon zest and juice ( adding a little at a time, tasting as you go).  I like this pretty lemony- up to you.
  4. Cover and set aside until ready to serve (loosen with a little more broth or hot water) and stir in the parmesan-right before serving.
  5. At the same time make the Gremolata by placing all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Cook the fish: In a heavy bottom skillet heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Blot fish dry, and salt and pepper both sides.
  7. Place skin side down in the skillet first and sear. After a couple minutes give the skillet a shake to loosen the fish. Turn heat to medium, and continue searing the skin side for about 5 minutes, until skin is nice and crisp.Turn the fish over, turn heat down to med-low and cook for just a couple minutes.
  8. Assemble:  Divide risotto among plates, top with seared fish, skin side up (to prevent soggy skin) Spoon the gremolata on and around the fish and top with microgreens and meyer lemon zest.
  9. Serve with roasted asparagus, 15-minute broccoli or hazelnut green beans or blanched sugar peas.


Feel free to cook risotto in the instant pot- seeThe Easiest Instant Pot Risotto Recipe


  • Serving Size: Black Cod with 1 1/8 cup Risotto and 1 Tablespoon Gremolata
  • Calories: 486
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Sodium: 804.2 mg
  • Fat: 27.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.2 g
  • Fiber: 1.6 g
  • Protein: 12.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 20.2 mg

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  1. I’m not very well versed in fish but I want to make this for a dinner party for 10 people. What whole or large filleted fish can I use instead of individual pieces?

    1. Hi Jackie! I would pick an oily fish fillet – like a 2 fillets of salmon, sea bass or black cod. These “oily fish” are much harder to overcook. You’ll need about 4 ounces per person. 40 ounces. Whole fish is easiest baked on a sheet pan (350-375 F) coat liberally with olive oil salt, pepper, bake until thickest part of the filet reaches 125-130F, then broil for a couple minutes for color. 🙂

  2. Loved this dish! Made it with halibut and cut back slightly on the lemon. The gremolata was a perfect addition!

  3. One of our new favorites! This is some of the best risotto we’ve had. Planning to make some of your other risotto dishes.

  4. I had a similar scallop risotto (w/o gremolata) at a local organic Italian restaurant last night. Even wi/o the gremolata, the flavor totally bowled me, over so I googled for a similar recipe and found yours. I am SO thrilled you shared your recipe, and plan to make it tomorrow night with sea bass (assuming I can find meyer lemons someplace, otherwise I’ll have to sub with regular lemons). Thank you!

      1. I used a little less of the lemon juice as another poster recommended. The taste was fabulous! Will definitely be making it again soon. Thanks again.

  5. We made this dish last night for dinner. Unfortunately, we were unable to find any Meyer lemons, but other than that we followed the recipe including using Black Cod (Sablefish) which we think is delicious. The gremolata made a very tasty and easy addition. We started our meal with a tomato basil salad with balsamic vinegar.

  6. THIS.WAS.FANTASTIC!!!!!! We used halibut instead of black cod and it was delicious. We paired it with a salad (arugula, toasted pumpkin seeds, seared cherry tomatoes) with your lemon leek dressing. It was delicious.

  7. Delicious. Next time i will reduce the amount of lemon juice I add to the rice as my family felt it was overpowering.

    1. Thanks Mel, quick question, did you use regular lemon or Meyer Lemon? Thanks, I’m curious because Meyer Lemons are typically less acidic.

  8. Another total keeper! You continue to make my husband think I’m a kitchen genius. And I always appreciate that you include what to serve each recipe with to make it a full meal, so I don’t have to do any guess work. Adding this one I to heavy rotation. Thank you so much!

  9. Being a novice cook, I was delighted at how well this turned out for me! I will definitely make this again and I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  10. Wow, this was simply delicious! I scored my sea bass skin and sprinkled some Hawaiian Lava Sea Salt into the slits, which really helped the skin crisp beautifully. I also loved the lemon risotto, and thought it complemented the fish really well. I did, however, think the gremolata of parsley and EVOO was a little overpowering for my tastes. In the future, I would probably omit the gremolata, and maybe add some fresh dill to the risotto after it has finished cooking. Thanks for the awesome recipe, I will definitely be making it again!

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