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Pan-seared white fish with harissa, fennel and capers
by Jamie Vespa on Friday March 9, 2018
Pan-Seared White Fish with Harissa, Fennel and Capers

Pan-seared white fish with smoky harissa-flavored fennel and lemony capers makes for an elegant yet easy dinner. Serve over pasta, potatoes, or your favorite whole grain for an instant crowd-pleaser.


  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless firm white fish fillets (such as halibut or cod)
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thin or shaved on a mandoline, fronds reserved for garnishing
  • ¼ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ Tbsp. mild harissa paste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1½ Tbsp. capers


  1. Season fish with ½ tsp. of the salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium. Add fennel, shallots, and ¼ tsp. of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, harissa, and 1 Tbsp. of the lemon juice; cook 1 minute, stirring often. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to pan. Cook fish until browned and crisp, 5-6 minutes. Turn; cook until just opaque in the center, 2-4 minutes more. Add reserved fennel mixture and capers mixture; toss to coat.
  4. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp. lemon juice over top. Garnish with reserved fennel fronds.
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Serves: 4 servings

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ¼th of recipe Calories: 173 Fat: 6 gm Saturated fat: 1 gm Carbohydrates: 7 gm Sugar: 3 gm Sodium: 551 mg Fiber: 2 gm Protein: 21 gm

Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, LD/N, is a former TGH dietitian who is now assistant nutrition editor at Cooking Light magazine. You can find more of her recipes on TGH Health News and more recipes on her blog, Dishing Out Health.