Despite the fact that my mom was born and raised in the heart of New England, fish was never a big feature on our weekly family menus, even during Lent.  We did the occasional tuna casserole (with egg noodles, peas and cream of mushroom soup, thankyewverymuch), there was the misbegotten beer shrimp dish that was so memorable – not in a good way – it was mentioned in her eulogy, and, in the last years of her life, we had a Yankee Seafood Fest of fried clams and Maine lobster – pardon me, lobstah – every January. 

But, when it came to simple, everyday fish dishes – trout or flounder or salmon – it just wasn’t her thing.  Consequently, fish has always been one of my blind spots.  Until the last year, I was always a bit tentative about how best to cook it, what flavors would complement it, and how to avoid overcooking it (let’s be honest, flakey is good … fish crumbs are not).

So, during the last couple of years, I’ve jumped into the deep end (see what I did there?), confronted my fears and have been trying different recipes as well as different types of fish.  One thing I’ve discovered is that I’m partial to single-pan dishes – not only does it simplify dinner prep, the flavor combinations seem to bring out the best in fish.  Last week, I posted my Tilapia with Tomato Couscous dish and this week is Mediterranean Sole – I’ll try to continue posting these types of fish recipes regularly as they are easy and they’re so healthy.  Having said that, it is important that we all pay attention to the types of fish we eat so that, in trying to be healthy, we don’t drive certain types of fish to extinction. 

Mediterraean Sole

  • 3-4 filets
  • 2 baskets of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 10 or so black olives, pitted, roughly torn
  • bunch basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • drizzle olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  In a 9×11″ pan, toss the tomatoes, green onions, capers, garlic, basil, and black olives (set a few capers and olives aside to top the fish) with the balsamic and olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper.  Place the fish on top of the tomato mixture and top with the lemon zest and juice, a few capers and olives, the parsley and a little salt and pepper.  Bake 15-20 minutes and serve with rice.

fish dishes don't get any easier than this!