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Holiday Baked Fish with French Tapenade

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Baked fish is a great holiday dish which is wonderful served with French Tapenade.

Traditional tapenade smashes the olives in a mortar with a heavy pestle, but it is a lot easier to use a food processor. This fish recipe this great served with wilted greens, which can be sautéed in a large skillet with a drop of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a pat of butter.

Serve this with a dry white wine and of course some holiday music.

  • Place one oven rack on the bottom shelf of the oven.
  • Place another rack on the middle shelf.
  • Preheat the oven 400° F for at least 20 minutes.
  • Place the fish filets, skin side down, on a sheet pan.
  • Sprinkle the filets with salt and white pepper and drizzle them with olive oil.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until the flesh is opaque, white and flaky.
  • While the fish is cooking, prepare the tapenade. Place the olives, basil and parsley in a food processor and pulse until minced.
  • Add in the anchovies, capers, and garlic and pulse again until everything is well combined.
  • Slick a small sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Sauté the shallots over medium heat until the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the olive mixture and the lemon juice.
  • Mix all the ingredients into a paste in the hot pan.
  • Taste the tapenade and add a little more lemon if you prefer.
  • Set the tapenade aside.
  • To serve, top each fish filet with a generous spoonful of the tapenade and garnish it with lemon zest.
  • Serve with optional wilted greens.
  • For wilted greens: Slick a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the greens and sprinkle with salt. Cover with a lid. Let it cook for 2 minutes and lift the lid. Add butter ands tir the greens until they wilt and the butter melts. Remove from the heat and serve.
  • For the Fish:
  • 4 6-ounce fish fillets, such as cod, salmon, halibut or rainbow trout
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 turns of a peppermill filled with white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon zest for garnish
  • For the Tapenade:
  • 1 cup pitted mixed olives
  • 3 basil leaves, rinsed and pat dry
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, rinsed and pat dry
  • 2 anchovy filets, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoons 100% olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped, about ½ cup
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more if you love lemon
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