Saturday, January 09, 2010

Fish with Preserved Lemons and Tomatoes

The fish I prepared using this recipe from Cooking Light, and found online at was so delicious, it would be worth preserving lemons to make this dish and this dish alone.

Cooking light has called the recipe Fish Tagine with Lemons and Tomatoes, probably because of the dish's traditional Moroccan flavors, however it isn't cooked in a traditional clay pot, or tagine, nor is is a slow-cooked stew.

I've reproduced the recipe below; I followed this recipe almost exactly with the following exceptions:

~I used more lemon (1/2 a preserved lemon) .
~I used regular paprika.
~I used blacks which tasted somewhat like Kalamata olives.
~I used catfish fillets. I bought these on accident but was very pleased with their consistency and flavor; no fishy taste at all.

Note: this recipe requires a 30 minute marinating time.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 6 ounces fish, 3/4 cup vegetable mixture, and about 1 tablespoon sauce)


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped whole lemon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 pitted green olives, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds mahimahi (or another firm white fish)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion (about 1)
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped seeded tomato (about 2 pounds)
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)


Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add lemon, 1 tablespoon water, 1/2 teaspoon oil, and sugar; cook 3 minutes or until water evaporates and mixture just begins to brown, stirring frequently. Set aside.

Place remaining 2 1/2 teaspoons oil in a small microwave-safe bowl, and microwave at high for 10 seconds at a time just until oil is heated. Stir in saffron; let stand 10 minutes.

Combine lemon mixture, saffron mixture, chopped parsley, and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag, and seal. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Layer 1 cup onion slices and 2 cups tomato on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Remove fish from bag, reserving marinade. Top tomato with fish; pour remaining marinade from bag over fish. Cover with remaining 2 cups tomato and remaining 1 cup onion. Cover with foil. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from oven.

Transfer fish and vegetables to a serving platter. Drizzle remaining liquid over fish. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.

I've served this with rice and with couscous. This makes a lovely company meal. Delicious! (note the "outstanding" rating on


Jodi said...

Hi, thanks for the recipes. I made the preserved lemons. One question though--do you put them in the fridge for the month, or do you keep them out? I'm hoping I did it right; the liquid looks a little cloudy. Also, I saw your son's lizard rock paintings; they're incredible. -Jodi

Quotidian Life said...

Hi Jodi,

I didn't refrigerate mine and they've been fine so far. Let me know how yours work out. I'll pass your compliments on to my son. Thanks!

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