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LivingFood and DrinkFish with Sizzling Olive Butter

Fish with Sizzling Olive Butter

by Susan Hanna

This simple but delicious butter sauce from New York Times Cooking can be used for any kind of fish and would also work with shrimp or chicken breasts. Melt butter and oil in an oven-proof pan and add garlic, sliced olives and fennel or coriander seeds. Cook for a few minutes and then add the fish to the pan, off-heat. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish and then bake until the fish is just cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over the fish and serve with more sauce, garnished with fresh herbs. I used cod, green olives and cilantro.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use butter that contains only cream, with no colour added. Check the olives to make sure the oil or brine they are packed in does not contain preservatives or colour. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


  • ¼ cup (60 ml) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon (14 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (250 ml) mixed olives, such as Kalamata, Castelvetrano, Moroccan or Picholine, pitted and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) fennel or coriander seeds, coarsely crushed (use the flat side of your knife or a mortar and pestle)
  • 4 (1-inch-thick/2.54-cm) pieces flaky white fish fillet, such as cod (about 6 ounces/170 g each), patted dry
  •  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lime wedges, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro or parsley, leaves and tender stems
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) chopped dill, leaves and tender stems


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium. Add butter and oil, and cook until butter melts and starts to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in olives, garlic and fennel or coriander, and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, then nestle them in one layer in the skillet. Carefully spoon some of the butter mixture over the fish, basting the fillets, then transfer pan to the oven.
  3. Bake until fish is opaque and flaky, 10 to 15 minutes, basting halfway through. Remove from oven and transfer fillets to serving plates.
  4. Squeeze a wedge or two of lime into the butter mixture and spoon sauce over fish. Top with black pepper, cilantro and dill, with extra lime wedges on the side for squeezing.

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