Fish Tagine with Chermoula, Preserved Lemon, and Green Olives

By PhoebeLapine
October 7, 2009
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Author Notes: This tagine is based on one my mother ate week after week when she was a vegetarian living in Tangier. Now back in the states, it is her go-to dish for entertaining a crowd. This tagine has all the winning comfort qualities of a rich tomato based stew, but the preserved lemon and green olives add another layer of flavor that makes our dinner guests all the more impressed by the balance of the ingredient combination, and how it showcases the delicate white fish. PhoebeLapine

Serves: 8-10

For the Stew

  • 4 pounds Flaky white fish, such as cod, haddock, or Mahi Mahi
  • 2 large Vidalia onions, grated
  • 2 preserved lemons, finely chopped
  • 1 28 oz can diced plum tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fish stock or water
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup pitted green olives

For the marinade, “Chermoula”

  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Pinch saffron threads (optional)
  • 1 small red chile pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the chermoula. Reserve ¼ cup of the mixture, and combine the rest with the fish fillets in a mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 -2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 3 or so tablespoons of oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pot) in a large Dutch oven or casserole dish over a medium flame. Sauté the onion until softened. Add the reserved chermoula, preserved lemon, and tomatoes. Gently simmer for ten minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, wine, and olives, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the tagine, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  3. When the fish has finished marinating, add it to the pot, and cook covered for 6-8 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Stir in half the mint, and garnish with the remaining leaves.

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