Cooking Lesson: Fish Skillet

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Start with these simple pantry ingredients.

The official start of the summer season is creeping up and that means only one thing: the pursuit of easy cooking. I stumbled upon one of those recipes the other day and I wanted to share it with you.  It was a winner with the whole family and so easy.

You have these ingredients already in your pantry (or if not, you should).  Cherry tomatoes (a pint is always in my refrigerator – so versatile in dishes like this, with eggs, on salads, etc.), capers, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, good olive oil, salt, pepper, an onion, a lemon.  Make sure you have an oven proof sauté pan such as All Clad, that has a couple inches coming up the side (NOT nonstick, the heat will be too much).

Actually, all I needed to go and out and buy was the fish and the whole grain bread, both I like to buy fresh anyway.

You want a firm white fish that won’t fall apart during cooking.  You could use tilapia or cod.  I used monkfish this time, which holds up very well to all sorts of cooking.  It is a great fish to put in stews too.

IMG_4121 After tossing the vegetables and pantry ingredients together in the pan, you simply place the fish on top, sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper and add lemon slices.

Did I mention that this recipe uses the grill for it’s heat source?  Very nice – almost no muss or fuss in your kitchen.  After heatingIMG_4122 the grill to a medium-high heat I put the pan right inside the grill.  Make sure your grill is big enough to accommodate your pan.  You don’t need to keep the cover on the pan, you want the heat of the grill to do its job.

Shut the grill and leave it alone for 20 minutes.  You can peek in on it but there is really not much you need to do.

REMEMBER! When you take this pan out of the grill it is going to piping hot, handle and all.  I have made the mistake of putting this pan in the oven to finish off a dish and literally grabbed the handle with my bare hand. Not pretty.  I am here to warn you.  Use an oven mitt. Actually, use two.

The fish should be firm to the touch at this point, the tomatoes nice and soft and everything saucy and  bubbling nicely. IMG_4124 All you need to do now is carefully bring this pan to the table, warn everybody and warn again that the pan is hot, give everyone a piece of whole grain sourdough bread for dipping into the sauce, serve everyone some of the fish and vegetables and enjoy. So easy!

Fish Skillet

Serves 4


2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, rinsed
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup caper berries, rinsed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine (or sherry if you don’t have wine)
salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds firm white fish, such as cod or monkfish
1 lemon, sliced thin
crusty whole grain bread


1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

2. Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, artichokes, olives, capers, olive oil and white wine in a rimmed, oven proof saute pan. Season with salt and pepper and toss together.

3. Season the fish with salt and pepper and place on top of the tomoato mixture. Place the lemon slices on top of the fish.

4. Place the pan in the grill and cover the grill (do not cover the pan). Cook until the fish is opaque throughout, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately with bread.

Inspiration by Martha Stewart 


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