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Fish Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Tomatoes

Randy Mayor
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 6 ounces fish, 3/4 cup vegetable mixture, and about 1 tablespoon sauce)
Firm white fish such as mahimahi, halibut, or sea bass are particularly good in this recipe. Use more or less saffron according to your taste. Serve with basmati rice.


  • 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
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion (about 1)
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped seeded tomato (about 2 pounds)
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 290
  • caloriesfromfat 28 %
  • fat 9 g
  • satfat 1.3 g
  • monofat 4.8 g
  • polyfat 1.9 g
  • protein 37.7 g
  • carbohydrate 14 g
  • fiber 3.1 g
  • cholesterol 54 mg
  • iron 2.5 mg
  • sodium 794 mg
  • calcium 124 mg

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Preheat oven to 400°.

  5. 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.

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