Simple Greek Style Baked Fish ~ this is a vibrant example of the healthy Mediterranean diet, it’s low in calories, high in nutrients, and drop dead gorgeous!
I’d happily eat this way every night. It’s quick, easy, and healthy. Everything gets layered into one pan or dish, and cooks, on the grill or in a hot oven, in about 15 minutes. Between the tomatoes, the lemons, the olive oil and the wine, a luscious sauce magically develops as it cooks. Make sure to serve this with bread, or couscous (or something!) to sop up every last drop. This one pot Greek inspired halibut is pretty much the perfect example of why Mediterranean cooking is so incredibly good for us.
This is true ingredient based cooking — there aren’t any fancy techniques involved, so the focus is on freshness and quality. The Greeks know this combination just works. Halibut is brilliantly white and flaky, but any firm fish will do. I used beautiful strawberry tomatoes, still attached to the stem, but regular cherry tomatoes have the same great flavor. I love how the heat of the oven splits their skins and allows the juices to flow, no chopping necessary! For the olives, fresh from an olive bar is best. Good olives are rich and briny, and I like to mix firm green ones along with more pungent cured black ones. The more variety the better, and don’t worry about the pits, that’s part of the rustic charm of this dish.
And can we talk about cooked olives for a minute? They are the best things ever. Ever. When you heat them, they get juicer and the flesh just falls off the pit. The flavors get intensified while the sharpness of the olives mellows. If you haven’t already seen my FRIED OLIVES, or my ROASTED OLIVES, you need to check them out.
- 1/2 - 2/3 lb halibut, cut in two portions
- 1/2 white or yellow onion
- 1 lemon
- Strawberry tomatoes, or assorted cherry tomatoes
- mixed olives (with or without pits)
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- a little smoked paprika
- a few red pepper flakes (optional)
- olive oil
- white wine
- fresh dill (or thyme, parsley, whatever you like)
- feta cheese (optional)
- Set oven to 425F
- Peel and thinly slice the onion. Lay it out on the bottom of a baking dish.
- Thinly slice the lemon and lay out the slices on top of the onion. Put the halibut on top of the lemon. Season the fish with a little smoked paprika and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Scatter the tomatoes and olives around the fish. If any of the tomatoes are on the large side, cut them in half.
- Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and pour a little white wine into the dish, about 1/4 cup or so.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the fish is done through. Finish under the broiler for a little more color.
- Serve with fresh dill and a crumbling of feta cheese.