Mediterranean Fish Fillets

One of the most challenging things for me in moving from the Central Coast of California to the Midwest was finding fresh fish.  When we first bought our place in 2002, I actually had our fish guy in California portion several pounds of fresh king salmon, flash freeze it for me, and then send it to Nebraska in dry ice.  I still can’t believe I did that.

But over the past 8 years, finding fresh fish has become super easy, especially once Whole Foods opened up here a few years ago.  A few independent seafood markets have sprung up around as well, and I can’t tell you how happy I am about that.

Now, we all know we’re supposed to be getting more fish into our diet, but coming up with wondrous fish recipes is usually what keeps us from actually doing it.  So I thought I’d share with you one of our very favorites.

Whether you’re a novice at cooking fish or very proficient at it, this is such a great recipe.  It really is hard to mess it up, and it delivers amazing flavors for so little effort. 

I used to make this with orange roughy, which I love, but since it went on the Seafood Watch list, I’ve switched to tilapia, which works beautifully.  But any nice, fresh white fish would work well.

This sauce would be good with just about anything.  Here's the recipe...

Mediterranean Fish Fillets

Click here for a printable recipe

2 tablespoon of olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you want it spicier)

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

1 tablespoon capers

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup dry white wine

½ cup of flour

Salt and pepper

1 pound of fish fillets such as cod, haddock or tilapia

Several sprigs of fresh oregano, roughly chopped


1. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes, and then add the crushed red pepper flakes.

2. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, parsley, a little salt, and the wine and simmer for another 5 minutes or so.  Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

3. Place the flour in a shallow bowl or pie pan.  Season each fish fillet generously with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour.

4.  Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, and when sizzling hot, brown the fish for about 3 or 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets.  The fish should flake easily, but be careful not to overcook them.  Carefully remove each fillet to a plate and top with the sauce, sprinkling each with some chopped fresh oregano.

Serve with an herbed orzo or jasmine rice.