This Mediterranean White Fish with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade is a flavorful restaurant-quality weeknight meal that can be ready in less than 30 minutes.
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This Mediterranean white fish dish is an elegant yet quick and simple-to-prepare weeknight dinner. The sun-dried tomato tapenade is loaded with flavor and pairs perfectly with the mild white fish, adding a deliciously savory, tangy flavor that everyone will love. In addition, this dish is healthy and light, so you can feel good about eating it guilt-free.
Serve the fish with crusty bread, a green salad on the side, or steamed veggies or rice for a complete meal. It is undoubtedly dinner party worthy if you are having guests for dinner!
What is Tapenade?
Tapenade is a Provençal spread, condiment, and culinary ingredient consisting of puréed or finely chopped olives (most commonly black olives), capers, and anchovies. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. It is a popular food in the south of France, where it is generally eaten as an hors d’œuvre spread on bread. (Wikipedia). It is also a versatile ingredient that can be added to pasta dishes and salads or used as a topping for grilled meats, fish, or vegetables.
The tapenade in this recipe combines green and Kalamata (black) olives, capers, anchovy paste, lemons, garlic, and olive oil. It creates a rich, tangy, robust spread that is perfect for dressing up a simple dish. For a twist on traditional, the sun-dried tomatoes add a sweetness that complements the other flavors perfectly.
What Type of Whitefish Should I Use?
When a recipe calls for white fish, it refers to mildly flavored fish with a subtle hint of sweetness and colorless, flaky flesh. White fish can be used in various dishes and cooking methods. If you’ve ever had fish and chips, you’ve had white fish.
Examples of white fish include cod, halibut, grouper, snapper, sea bass, haddock, pollack, flounder, and barrelfish. Any of them will work in this recipe as long as you work with a fillet.
Look for white fish with firm flesh; the color should be translucent to very light pink. Also, it should not have a strong odor.
Suppose you need more confidence about what fish to buy for a recipe. In that case, you can always ask your fishmonger for recommendations. Tell them what you’re making, and they will guide you.
You can also use frozen wild fish that is processed fresh and flash frozen; it can be a great option. The fish should be frozen solid (no trace of liquid), and check the label for additives.
Ingredients to use for this recipe
- Sun-dried tomatoes: They add a deliciously intense flavor to most dishes. You can use jarred sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil for time-saving convenience. Just keep in mind that they often contain added sugar. If this is an issue, use the dried variety and reconstitute according to package directions.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Use only good extra virgin olive oil for the tapenade and the fish.
- Anchovy paste: A potent salty paste that tastes much better than it sounds. A small amount of this adds a distinctive salty, fishy, and slightly sweet flavor to dishes.
- Olives: The mix of black olives and green olives adds complexity due to the different flavor profiles of the green and black olives. In this recipe, we use the Kalamata variety for the black olives. You can use any black olives you have at hand or prefer.
- Capers are the flower buds of a weed-like shrub that grows all over the Mediterranean. The flower buds are collected and pickled, the form we commonly find in the market. They add a tangy, floral taste (as well as salty, of course)
- Garlic: It adds another layer of pungent flavor to the tapenade.
- Lemon: The juice adds a hint of acidity that brightens the tapenade. We also use some wedges for serving.
- White fish fillets: We use the generic term “white fish” because this recipe will work with any locally available mild, firm white fish, such as cod, haddock, or halibut, preferably wild-caught.
- Feta cheese: Maybe the best-known Greek cheese. Use a high-quality feta cheese made with sheep or a mix of sheep and goat milk.
- Freshly ground black pepper.
**Use added salt sparingly for this recipe because the tapenade is naturally briny and salty due to the anchovy paste, olives, and capers.
How to make this White Fish with Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade
Prepare the tapenade
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olives (green and black), capers, anchovy paste, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.
Transfer half the mixture to a food processor and quickly pulse until finely chopped but not smooth and creamy.
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).
Prepare the fish
Add the olive oil to a large non-stick skillet set over medium heat. Season the fish fillets with 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, until heated through, approximately 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and transfer the fillets to individual serving plates. Spoon some warm tapenade over each fillet and serve immediately with a couple of lemon wedges and a crispy green salad or your choice of sides.
You can use any white fish fillet you prefer (cod, halibut, grouper, snapper, sea bass, haddock, pollack, flounder, and barrelfish).
Feel free to use another type of tapenade if you don’t like sun-dried tomatoes.
Notes and Cooking Tips
- If your fish is frozen, you must first thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Then, bring it out and place it on the countertop for 30 minutes to bring it closer to room temperature.
- This recipe will work well with any white fish. Cod, halibut, sea bass, flounder, tilapia, and sole are all great options if you work with a fillet.
- The final cooking time will vary and depends on the thickness of the fish filets. When done, the fish should flake easily with a fork, and the flesh should look white and opaque rather than gray or translucent. If unsure whether the fish is done, check with an instant-read meat thermometer. The FDA recommends a temperature of 145°F for food safety.
- You can also bake or grill the fish. Bake in an oven preheated to 400°F in a greased baking dish until the fish should flake easily with a fork and the flesh should look white and opaque. Or grill for 5 minutes on each side per inch.
- The topping on this dish is a flavorful versatile spread that can be used to top fish, chicken, or anything you like. You can even spread it on crostini for a quick appetizer, add it to pasta dishes and salads, or use it as a topping for grilled meats, fish, or vegetables.
- If you do not have a food processor, you can chop them up with a knife. The final dish will have a more rustic vibe.
- Jarred sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil offer time-saving convenience but 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).
NOTE: Use added salt very sparingly, if at all, for this recipe because the tapenade is naturally briny and salty due to the anchovy paste, olives, and capers.
Prepare the tapenade a day or two in advance to allow the flavors to develop fully.
You can also make a batch of tapenade and refrigerate it in an airtight glass container for up to a week. Then, spread it on crostini for a quick appetizer, add it to pasta dishes and salads, or use it as a topping for grilled meats, fish, or vegetables.
Store any leftovers in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
More Fish Recipes
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon With Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
- Grilled Tuna Steaks with Gremolata
- Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Tomatoes and Potatoes
- Baked Cod with Asparagus and Potatoes
- Baked Mediterranean Mahi-Mahi
- Baked Monkfish Fillet
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Fish such as tuna, herring, salmon and sardines are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you haven't been a fish fan, start by trying mild-flavored tilapia. Salmon is another popular choice. Add flavor with Mediterranean seasonings, such as thyme, oregano, basil, garlic or lemon juice.Are sun dried tomatoes part of the Mediterranean diet? ›
The Mediterranean Diet is associated with less heart disease and protection from some cancers. A popular ingredient of the diet is Sun Dried Tomatoes which contain lycopene, a phytochemical and proven antioxidant that fights free radicals in the body.What is the Mediterranean Sea white fish? ›
Cod, halibut, grouper, snapper, sea bass, and haddock are all examples of white fish, and any of them will work in this recipe as long as you are working with a fillet.What is considered white fish? ›
What is whitefish? Whitefish is generally a mild-flavored, often slightly sweet fish, which can be interchangeable in recipes. These include wild Alaska pollock, bass, cod, grouper, haddock, and halibut. These are great for pan-frying, pan-searing, using soups and chowders, and baking.What is the most famous Mediterranean fish? ›
Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) in terms of value, the most important fish and also the most endangered fish in the Mediterranean.What is not eaten in a Mediterranean diet? ›
The Mediterranean diet is high in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Foods not allowed include processed red meats, heavily processed foods, refined grains, alcohol, butter, and refined/processed/hydrogenated oils.What are the 2 most recognized ingredients in Mediterranean diet? ›
Olive oil and red wine figure prominently. However, there is very little meat and dairy products. Not surprisingly, the Mediterranean diet follows a similar dietary structure to science-backed eating advice, and does NOT include foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat.Are sun-dried tomatoes better for you than regular tomatoes? ›
They're a good source of lycopene
In particular, it's thought to help protect your skin cells from the sun. While all tomatoes contain lycopene, sun-dried tomatoes have been found to have higher levels than tinned or fresh.
The latin name for this fish is Argyrosomus regius, which translates to 'Silver-bodied King,' indeed describing this incredible, regal fish. Depending on what country you're in, it may be called Stone Bass, Greek Stone Bass, Kranios, or Greek Kranios.What are 4 types of white fish? ›
White fish is found everywhere in the world, and some of the most popular species that appear on menus include Atlantic cod, haddock, hake, halibut, flounder, and sole.
"The finding of the N. annulatus in Maltese waters constitutes the first record for the Mediterranean sea," the journal reads. It belongs to the Acanthuridae family, which includes surgeonfish, tangs and unicorn fishes.What is the best tasting white fish to eat? ›
Tilapia – tilapia is arguably the mildest tasting fish there is. It's not fishy at all and has a mild sweetness. Tilapia is easy to prepare and goes well with a variety of different flavor profiles. Cod – cod has a mild flavor that's slightly sweet like tilapia.What is the healthiest white fish to eat? ›
For example, low-fat fish like tilapia, cod, flounder, and sole have fewer than 120 calories in a 3-ounce serving and give you plenty of protein. If you don't like fish but want to get more seafood into your diet, tilapia and cod can be a good starting point. Neither has much of a fishy taste.What is the best white fish to eat? ›
Some of the best examples of white fish include cod, snapper, flounder, haddock, halibut and grouper. These types of fish are rich in protein as well as important micronutrients, like selenium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and magnesium.What are the top 3 most eaten fish? ›
Shrimp, tuna, clams—the most popular seafood items in the United States are familiar names to both seafood lovers and the occasional consumer.What is the most delicious ocean fish? ›
- Mahi Mahi or Dolphin Fish. Fondly called the “chicken of the sea”, this fish can be cooked in many ways. ...
- Cobia. ...
- Monk Fish. ...
- Halibut. ...
- Cod. ...
- Salmon. ...
Cheese & Yogurt
Dairy products common to the traditional Mediterranean Diet include: brie, chevre, corvo, feta, haloumi, manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, ricotta, yogurt (including Greek yogurt).
The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that's based on the traditional cuisines of Greece, Italy and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, are the foundation of the diet.What is the main staple of the Mediterranean diet? ›
Staples of the Mediterranean diet include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts and legumes, and olive oil. In lesser amounts, poultry, eggs, cheese and dairy are consumed.What bread is OK on Mediterranean diet? ›
Bread made of whole wheat, whole grains, sprouts, and sourdough is recommended, as it's the healthiest type of bread. White bread made of refined flour is best avoided. That's because processing reduces the nutritional value of refined flour.
- Hummus. Hummus is a popular dip or spread throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East. ...
- Melitzanosalata. The word “melitzanosalata” means eggplant salad in Greek, but it's actually a dip. ...
- Tzatziki. ...
- Dolmades. ...
- Gigantes plaki. ...
- Avgolemono. ...
- Fakes soupa. ...
Potatoes definitely shouldn't be avoided on the Mediterranean diet. Potatoes may seem like a "bad carb" sometimes, but they aren't viewed that way on this diet. They can be a great source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, and more. Try eating white potatoes and sweet potatoes without going overboard.Can you eat potatoes on Mediterranean diet? ›
Basics of Mediterranean Way of Eating
Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil. Eat in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
Oats are a whole grain, which is encouraged on the Mediterranean diet. Low or moderate amounts of cheese, such as brie, feta, ricotta, and Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan), are also allowed. All types of fresh fruits, including bananas, are a go on the diet.How many eggs per week on Mediterranean diet? ›
Based on their high cholesterol content, the Mediterranean Diet Foundation recommends to consume up to 4 eggs per week, as a healthy alternative to fish or meat , and the same amount (2–4 eggs per week) was indicated in the latest Italian dietary guidelines .Are sun-dried tomatoes anti inflammatory? ›
Incorporating sun dried tomatoes into any meal is a smart way to stay healthy! These little gems are packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants (including lycopene) that are event believed to decrease the risk of certain cancers, neutralize free radicals and decrease inflammation.Can you eat sun-dried tomatoes everyday? ›
Yes! Sun-dried tomatoes can be part of a healthy diet. They're high in vitamin C, potassium, and other important nutrients. Depending on the brand, though, they may be a high sodium food.Are sun-dried tomatoes good for blood pressure? ›
Lower Blood Pressure
Sun-dried tomatoes can fit into a high-potassium, low-sodium diet to help prevent or lower high blood pressure. Each half-cup of sun-dried tomatoes contains 926 milligrams of potassium, or 26 percent of the daily value, and only 66 milligrams of sodium, or 3 percent of the daily value.
The bluefin tuna is the most valuable among all the species of tunnids: specifically it is very appreciated among the fishes in the Mediterranean Sea because it is rich in omega 3 and the ventresca of tuna is very sought after, or the fattest part that covers the muscle in the abdominal cavity of the animal.What is the most popular fish in Greece? ›
FISH FROM GREECE sea bream, one of the world's most popular fish, thrives in the clear, blue, Greek waters and is a top-quality fish with a smooth texture, rich in Omega-3.
The queenfish (Seriphus politus) is a species of fish in the family Sciaenidae, the drums and croakers. It is native to the eastern Pacific Ocean, where it occurs along the North American coastline from Oregon to Baja California; it has been recorded as far north as British Columbia.What is the most expensive white fish? ›
Turbot. Turbot is as highly prized as halibut, as well as being one of the most expensive seafoods available. Often served for special occasions with its characteristic firm white flesh and strong distinctive fishy flavour. The fish is rounder in shape than halibut and does not grow so large.Is tilapia considered a white fish? ›
White fish (catfish, haddock, tilapia, whiting)What are 10 examples of white fish? ›
We seek out salmon, trout, tuna, cod, halibut, and mackerel. But sometimes a recipe calls simply for "white fish." If you're not familiar with the family of fish called "white fish," the term refers to any white-fleshed fish like cod, tilapia, flounder, sole, halibut, snapper, catfish, haddock, and grouper.What is the biting fish in the Mediterranean? ›
The main culprits in the Mediterranean, the experts say, are Diplodus sargus fish, also known as sargo or white seabream, usually about 10 to 15 centimeters (four to six inches) long, which are native to the Sea.What is Greek fish called? ›
The ichthys or ichthus (/ˈɪkθəs/), from the Greek ikhthū́s (ἰχθύς, 1st cent. AD Koine Greek pronunciation: [ikʰˈtʰys], "fish") is (in its modern rendition) a symbol consisting of two intersecting arcs, the ends of the right side extending beyond the meeting point so as to resemble the profile of a fish.What is the Colourful fish from the Mediterranean? ›
The Mediterranean rainbow wrasse (Coris julis) is a small, colourful fish in the family Labridae. It can be found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the northeast Atlantic Ocean from Sweden to Senegal (though it is a rare wanderer to the southern British Isles).What is the most popular white fish? ›
Popular kinds of white fish are tilapia, cod, bass, grouper, haddock, catfish, and snapper, and these are great for frying, searing, using in soups and chowders, and baking.What white fish has a buttery taste? ›
Most white fish—think tilapia, halibut, grouper, cod—are considered mild in flavor but sometimes have a delicate, sweet, and buttery taste. That's why we like these fish as options for seafood beginners.What is the best white fish to eat with low mercury? ›
What types of fish contain very low levels of mercury? Fish that tend to contain very low levels of mercury include shellfish (for example oysters, clams, scallops, mussels), salmon, crab, shrimp, trout, herring, haddock, pollock (Boston bluefish), sole, flounder, lobster, Atlantic mackerel and lake whitefish.
Salmon. Salmon is one of the most popular types of fish and there's good reason for this—it's also one of the lightest, making it incredibly easy to digest. White, flaky fish are also easy to digest.Which white fish has the least bones? ›
Some fish which is readily made into steaks, like tuna or halibut, will have either no bones at all or just a bone right in the middle. Sole, swordfish, mahi mahi, grouper, whitefish, perch, any of these will be virtually bone free.Is white fish better for you than salmon? ›
While both salmon and cod are healthy protein sources, salmon is a better option overall because it contains higher levels of omega-3s and other essential nutrients.What fish has the least mercury? ›
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that to consume those higher amounts, children should only be fed fish from the “Best Choices” list that are even lower in mercury – these fish are anchovies, Atlantic mackerel, catfish, clams, crab, crawfish, flounder, haddock, mullet, oysters, plaice, pollock, salmon, ...What is the most eaten fish in the world? ›
Tuna - World's Most Consumed Fish.What fish is best for weight loss? ›
Low-calorie fish like tilapia, tuna, salmon, halibut, and cod can help you lose weight when included in your diet. You can consume about 85 to 170 g of fish in one serving, two to three times per week in order to lose weight. You can include fish in your post-workout meal. It can be also eaten for lunch or dinner.Can you eat fish daily on Mediterranean diet? ›
Eat more fish, aiming for two to three servings a week. Both canned and fresh fish are fine. Substitute wine in moderation for other alcoholic beverages. Replace beer or liquors with wine — no more than two 5-ounce glasses per day for men, and one glass per day for women.Can you eat fish every day on Mediterranean diet? ›
The groups recommend eating fish and seafood twice a week and moderate amounts of dairy, eggs, and poultry. Red meat and sweets are consumed just sometimes.How often should you eat fish on the Mediterranean diet? ›
The Mediterranean way
Build meals around vegetables, beans and whole grains. Eat fish at least twice a week. Use olive oil instead of butter in preparing food.
Fish is a foundational source of protein in the Mediterranean diet. “We recommend eating fish at about three meals a week,” Zumpano says. “Any type of fish can play a role and be a good source of protein, but fish high in omega-3s have specifically been shown to suppress inflammation.”
Based on their high cholesterol content, the Mediterranean Diet Foundation recommends to consume up to 4 eggs per week, as a healthy alternative to fish or meat , and the same amount (2–4 eggs per week) was indicated in the latest Italian dietary guidelines .How often should I eat cheese on the Mediterranean diet? ›
Don't go overboard with dairy — cap it at 2 cups a day
To really reap the health and weight loss benefits of a Mediterranean diet, you should cap your dairy intake at around two cups a day, Sollid said. That could mean a serving of Greek yogurt with breakfast and a bit of cheese as a snack, for example.
Spain and Italy: toasted bread + soft cheese + fresh fruit or freshly squeezed fruit juice. Greece: paximadia (bread made from whole wheat, chickpea, and barley ﬂour) + olives + cheese. Syria: tahini yogurt with chickpeas + pickles + sliced radishes. Morocco: fried egg in olive oil + soft cheese + olives + ﬂatbread.Is peanut butter OK on Mediterranean diet? ›
And as plant-based protein sources that are high in good and unsaturated fats, peanuts and peanut butter are a natural fit within Mediterranean and Flexitarian ways of eating.Can you have potatoes on Mediterranean diet? ›
Potatoes definitely shouldn't be avoided on the Mediterranean diet. Potatoes may seem like a "bad carb" sometimes, but they aren't viewed that way on this diet. They can be a great source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, fiber, and more. Try eating white potatoes and sweet potatoes without going overboard.How much water should you drink on the Mediterranean diet? ›
Staying hydrated is an important piece of The Mediterranean Diet. We all know that drinking water is essential. And, we should strive to drink half of our body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, a woman who weighs 140 pounds should be drinking about 70 ounces of water a day.How long does it take to see results from the Mediterranean diet? ›
Does It Work? There's no question about it. Years of research have shown that the Mediterranean Diet is one of the healthiest around. For weight loss, stick with it more than 6 months (preferably forever), get regular exercise, and watch your portions.What is the best yogurt for the Mediterranean diet? ›
You don't have to give up dairy to follow the Mediterranean Diet. In fact, low-fat yogurt and cheese are an important part of the plan. Choosing low-fat milk, Greek yogurt, or kefir are perfect swaps.What is not allowed on the Mediterranean diet? ›
The Mediterranean diet is high in plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Foods not allowed include processed red meats, heavily processed foods, refined grains, alcohol, butter, and refined/processed/hydrogenated oils.