Petrale Sole with Orange, Olive and Mint Tapenade

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I can safely say that, on a daily basis, I am asked by at least one client for an easy, less-than-30-minute recipe.  My clients, like everyone, are busy people who don't want to spend their lives in the kitchen but also don't want dinner to come out of a Styrofoam container.  And though I personally wouldn't mind spending my life in my kitchen, I too often find myself spending no more than 30-45 minutes on meal prep.  The truth is, life can get a little crazy sometimes and even with the best intentions, I can't always give my meals the time and attention they deserve.  Yesterday was one of those days.

With clients booked back to back for the better part of my day, I realized while sitting in traffic at 4pm, that I had no plan for dinner.  Whenever I'm caught without a mental meal plan I immediately take inventory of what's in my fridge.   "Olives, a sad-looking orange, mint, potatoes for baking and half a cabbage to turn into a slaw," I thought, trying to envision the inside of the not-so-organized food receptacle.  OK, so all I needed was a protein.  "Could we do soft boiled eggs?" I asked myself, recalling the fried eggs from the night before.  I try to mix up our proteins so neither of us get egged, chickened or beaned out, so I decided against it.  Then suddenly, I  had a flash.  "Fish!" I unexpectedly blurted, startling myself as I pulled into the market parking lot.  Why didn't I think of it before??  I adore cooking fish as it is an easy 15-minute dinner that conjures an air of sophistication without much effort.  I decided to go with petrale sole as I knew I could quickly saute it on the stove and top it with some sort of orange-olive concoction.  (The beauty of white fish being it goes with almost any flavor profile.)  In this case I topped the sole with olives and oranges because that is what I had in the fridge, but a saute of tomatoes, butter and rosemary would also be lovely.   Or sauteed fennel with fresh thyme.  Caramelized onions, lime and toasted whole cumin seeds would also work.  Quite honestly, the possibilities are endless!

So here is my ridiculously-quick-15-minute-almost-no-prep fish dinner.  Oh, shaved fennel or capers would also be nice in the tapenade.  Just a thought!

Petrale Sole with Orange, Olive and Mint Tapenade

Petrale Sole with Orange, Olive and Mint Tapenade

Petrale Sole with Orange, Olive and Mint Tapenade

Serves 2

For the tapenade:

1 orange, segmented and chopped

1/4 cup French black olives, pitted and chopped

Pinch of paprika

A drizzle of balsamic vinegar

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

A handful of mint, chopped

For the fish:

2 fillets petrale sole (rock cod, halibut, or any other white fish will work)

1 tablespoon organic butter

A pinch of paprika

Sea salt a pepper to taste

In a small bowl mix together the orange, olives, paprika, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  This can be made up to an day in advance.  When you are ready to serve, add the mint and mix thoroughly.

In a medium saute pan melt the butter.  Season the fish with paprika, salt and pepper and place in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes.  Flip the fish and brown the other side.

Remove the fish from the pan, top with the tapenade and serve with boiled potatoes and salad.  Enjoy!