See more
James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Tilapia with Tomatoes and Garbanzos

Notes: Preserved lemon is a salty, tangy condiment available in some well-stocked supermarkets and in stores that carry Middle Eastern ingredients. If you can't find it, substitute 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel and an extra 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Sunset FEBRUARY 2004

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup slivered onion (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 head fennel (about 1 lb.), stalks removed, halved lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 1/2 oz.) garbanzos, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup pitted oil-cured or other black olives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 pound boned, skinned tilapia fillets, rinsed, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley


1. Pour olive oil into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan (with 2-in.-tall sides) over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and fennel and stir often until limp, about 8 minutes.

2. Stir in tomatoes, garbanzos, preserved lemon, olives, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Lay fish over vegetables; cover and cook, turning fish once, until fish is opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a 2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover pan, and remove from heat. Let stand until water is absorbed and couscous is tender to bite, about 5 minutes.

4. Fluff couscous with a fork and divide among four wide bowls. Spoon fish and vegetables over couscous. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 569
  • Calories from fat: 19%
  • Protein: 36g
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrate: 79g
  • Fiber: 9.4g
  • Sodium: 1129mg
  • Cholesterol: 57mg