Spice Crusted Fish with Eggplant Puree & Tapenade

Spice Crusted Fish with Eggplant Puree & TapenadePacked with plenty of flavour, this is a bit more fancy that what I usually cook, but it is a great meal for mid-week entertaining. Make the eggplant puree in advance and reheat just prior to serving.

A steamed green vegetable or simple salad of mixed leaves on the side is all that is needed to complete the meal.

I don’t often purchase prepared condiments, but when I tasted
Aromatics Mushroom & Thyme Tapenade it was a must have and here I have used it to add an extra punch of flavour.

Spice Crusted Fish with Eggplant Puree & Tapenade

Here I used small monkfish fillets, but any firm white fish fillets work well – choose what looks best on the day.

Serves 4

2 large aubergines
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp natural yogurt
olive oil
1 tsp grated lemon zest
lemon juice
4 x 150g firm white fish fillets, skin removed
prepared tapenade
chopped parsley

1              Preheat oven to 200°C. Piece eggplants several times with a fork. Place eggplant on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes or
until very soft. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.

2              Meanwhile, combine cumin, coriander and turmeric with a good grind of salt and black pepper. Set aside.

3              When eggplant are cool enough to handle, remove skin and discard, chop flesh, place in a colander and drain for at least 30 minutes.

4              Puree eggplant flesh, 1 tbsp spice mixture 2 tbsp oil, yogurt, lemon zest and lemon juice to taste using a hand blender, food
processor or blender. Season with additional lemon juice, salt or black pepper, if necessary. Set aside.

5              Place remaining spice mixture in a plastic bag, add fish and shake to coat with spice mixture. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat, add a good splash of oil, then add fish and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.

6              To serve, reheat eggplant puree in saucepan over a low heat or in the microwave. Smear a large spoonful of puree on each plate, top with fish fillets and a dollop of tapenade and finally scatter with a little chopped parsley.

Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Fish: Tangaroa Seafoods – Napier; Eggplants, lemons: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Yogurt: Origin Earth – Havelock North; Parsley: Epicurean Supplies – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Tapenade: Aromatics – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: cumin, coriander, turmeric sea salt, black pepper.

Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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