This is an easy recipe that yields great results in very little time. Thin fish fillets are quickly pan-fried and topped with a savoury salsa of olives, tomatoes and parsley. The fish is served with a side dish of orzo mixed with garlic, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, dill and lemon juice. The recipe calls for tilapia, but snapper, trout, sole, orange roughy or perch would all work well.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

The ingredients in this recipe that could contain additives and preservatives include the butter and olives. Look for a butter that contains only cream, with no colour, and for olives with no preservatives added. I am currently using PC black label Niçoise olives. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lemon juice, as concentrates are bitter and contain preservatives such as sodium benzoate.

Fish fillets are quickly pan fried

Mix cooked orzo with spinach and cherry tomatoes

Fish with olive salsa and spinach orzo


1 tbsp (15 mL) butter

2 tilapia fillets, (about 1 lb/450 g total), halved lengthwise

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

Olive Salsa

1/4 cup (60 mL) cherry tomatoes, diced

2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped Kalamata olives

1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil

Spinach Orzo

1 cup (250 mL) orzo

2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups (2 L) baby spinach

1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh dill

2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper


Olive Salsa: In small bowl, combine tomatoes with olives, parsley and oil.

Spinach Orzo: In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook orzo according to package directions; drain and set aside.

In nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add spinach; cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir into orzo. Stir in tomatoes, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sprinkle tilapia with salt and pepper; cook until fish flakes easily with fork, about 3 minutes per side.

Top fish with salsa; serve with orzo. Serves 4.

From the December 2012 Canadian Living