Bright Mediterranean flavors - olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, citrus, and olives - bake atop firm, white fish. Served with simple bulgur pilaf, Baked Greek Fish With Citrus and Olives is bursting with flavor, super healthy, and on your table in less than 30 minutes!
The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.
~~ Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin,
The Mediterranean diet is a very healthy one. Not a "diet" per se, rather it is a focus on the Mediterranean eating-style and ingredients. Their diet emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (olive oil specifically), whole grains, legumes, and lean proteins (fish and poultry) rather than red meat. My husband and I prefer to eat this way most of the time... As you may know, I love to play with food, and this new dish - Baked Greek Fish With Citrus and Olives - is the result of one of those sessions.
Barramundi (aka Giant Perch, Australian Sea Bass) is my "go to" mild-tasting, firm white fish. Its mild, buttery flavor tastes similar to grouper or halibut... not strong tasting at all. Eating responsibly is an important consideration, and the ocean farming methods used result in minimal environmental impact. The barramundi is considered "sustainable," and is a fantastic source of lean protein. I find it in my grocer's freezer section at about $6.00 (U.S.) for a 12 ounce package. Trader Joe's sells weight based barramundi at under $9.00 per pound. It works beautifully in any recipe calling for firm, mild white fish - cod, halibut, grouper, sea bass, etc. I hope you'll give it a try! If you peek in my
messy freezer, you will almost always find a package of barramundi. 😀
I looked to coastal Greece for inspiration for this recipe... fish, citrus, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and fresh parsley. I always have to add a bit of a twist, and this recipe is no exception. I have included anchovy paste and cinnamon. If you just can't handle anchovy paste, omit it. You will still have a delicious dish. I love the salty complexity it adds. Cinnamon is quite common in Greek savory dishes, but not in the typical Greek dishes seen in cafés and bistros in the United States. I have been making moussaka for 30 years, and cinnamon is an integral flavor note in that dish.
I have paired Baked Greek Fish With Citrus and Olives with a very simple bulgur pilaf. I use #2 medium grind bulgur simmered with good broth or stock. Do NOT confuse bulgur with cracked wheat. Bulgur is a cracked wheat product which has been precooked. There are different methods that involve either soaking in cool liquid, covering with boiling liquid, and cooking on the stove. I typically do the latter as it's ready in about 10 minutes. This dish would be wonderful over orzo or couscous as well!
If you eat with your eyes as I do, I'm sure you will agree the colors in this dish are lovely? It tastes every bit as good as it looks. I do hope you'll give it a try. If you find and try barramundi, please let me know what you think... A blogger's lifeline is feedback from readers. Best,
More Mediterranean Inspired Recipes:
- Mediterranean Fish In Parchment With Spring Vegetables
- Mediterranean Fish & Lemony Orzo
- Provençal Stuffed Mushroom and Grilled Polenta
Baked Greek Fish With Citrus and Olives
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small sweet or red onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (see notes)
- ¼ cup dry sherry or white wine
- 2 cups good diced tomatoes
- 1 blood orange, zest and juice about ½ cup (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- 24 ounces firm white fish fillets (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped (for garnish)
- 2 cups broth, stock, or water (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup #2 bulgur not cracked wheat
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees (400 convection).
- To a large saute pan, add the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic. Saute until onions are softened.
- Add the crushed red pepper and anchovy paste. Using a wooden spoon, mix well. Cook 2-3 minutes
- De-glaze the pan with the sherry or white wine. Add the tomatoes, juice and zest, and olives. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.
- Ladle a bit of the sauce over the bottom of an appropriate baking dish. I use a 7 x 11 x 3 ceramic baking dish. Spread the sauce out, then lay your fish fillets over top. Cover the fish with the remaining sauce.
- Place casserole uncovered in preheated oven. Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork - about 15 minutes and depending on the thickness of your fish.
- While the fish bakes, prepare the pilaf. Read your specific package instructions for ratio of liquid to bulgur, and cook times. Adjust accordingly.
- To a small saucepan with a lid, add the liquid, olive oil, and salt. Bring to a boil. Add the bulgur, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. If you have any remaining liquid, drain it off and then fluff. Replace lid until ready to serve.
- Divide the bulgur pilaf among 4 small plates. Top each with a fourth of the fish and sauce, and garnish with parsley. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.