Mediterranean White Fish with Sun-Dried Tapenade is a healthy, flavorful dinner recipe that is perfect for busy weeknights. The Mediterranean diet is known for being heart-healthy and delicious, and this dish hits both marks. The fish is covered in a zesty sun-dried tomato tapenade and then baked to perfection. Serve it with a simple green salad and some crusty bread, and you have a complete meal that is healthy and satisfying.
Easily adaptable to your preferences
This recipe is also easily adaptable to your preferences. If you don't like sun-dried tomatoes, feel free to use another type of tapenade. And, if you're not a fan of fish, chicken or shrimp would work just as well. So, whether you're looking for a healthy weeknight dinner option or just want to try something new, Mediterranean White Fish with Sun-Dried Tapenade is a great choice.
The generic term “white fish”
Note to Publisher: The generic term “white fish” is used here because this recipe will work with any locally available mild, firm white fish, such as cod, haddock, or halibut. The images included with this recipe feature barrelfish, a deep-dwelling fish found all along the Atlantic coast of North America. They have also been found along the coasts of Portugal, Spain, and the western Mediterranean.
Tip: Prepare the tapenade a day or two in advance to allow the flavors to fully develop. This will also cut the prep time for this recipe to just a minute or two.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10-14 minutes
- Tapenade Ingredients:
- ½ c. sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped*
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 t. anchovy paste
- ¼ c. Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- ¼ c. green olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 T. capers, drained
- 2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 6-oz. white fish fillets
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste**
3 oz. Feta cheese, chopped
1 large lemon, cut into thin wedges
*Jarred sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil offer time-saving convenience, but they often contain added sugar. If this is an issue, be sure to check the ingredients list carefully or use the dried variety (and reconstitute according to package directions).
**Use added salt very sparingly, if at all, for this recipe because the tapenade is naturally briny due to the anchovy paste, olives, and capers.
- Prepare the tapenade by combining all ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir to combine, then transfer half the mixture to a food processor and quickly pulse until finely chopped, but not smooth. Return to the bowl and stir to combine with the rest of the tapenade. Cover and set aside. (If preparing in advance, cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use).
- Add the olive oil to a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Season the fish fillets with salt and black pepper, to taste, and add to the hot skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or just until golden brown, then turn and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Repeat on each edge for 1 minute or just until golden. Do not overcook.
- Add the tapenade and Feta cheese to the skillet and cook, stirring continually, just until heated through, approximately 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the fillets to individual serving plates. Spoon some of the warm tapenade over each fillet and serve immediately with a couple lemon wedges and a crispy green salad or your choice of sides. Enjoy!
Inspired by other recipes
See recipe card for quantities.
Add the olive oil to a large non-stick skillet
Cook for 3-4 minutes, or just until golden brown
transfer the fillets to individual serving plates.
Spoon some of the warm tapenade over each fillet
Substitutions for Mediterranean White Fish with Sun-Dried Tapenade can include any type of white fish. The most popular types of white fish are cod, halibut, and tilapia. Substitutions for the sun-dried tapenade can be found at your local grocery store in the olive aisle. The sun-dried tapenade that is typically used in this dish is a black olive paste. Substitutions for the black olive paste can be green olive paste or even just regular olives. If you cannot find either of these at your local grocery store, then you can always use an online recipe to make your own sun-dried tapenade.
One of the great things about cooking is that there are endless variations on even the most simple of recipes. Take, for example, the classic Mediterranean dish of white fish with sun-dried tapenade. While the basic ingredients remain the same, there are countless ways to vary the dish to suit your own taste. To start, you can use any type of white fish - from cod and haddock to bass and halibut. The fish can be baked, grilled, or pan-fried, and can be accompanied by a variety of different vegetables - from roasted tomatoes and garlic to sauteed spinach and onions. As for the tapenade, you can experiment with different olives, herbs, and spices to create a unique flavor profile. So whether you're looking for a simple weeknight meal or a show-stopping dinner party dish, don't be afraid to get creative with your Mediterranean white fish with sun-dried tapenade.