This rolled up fish is stuffed with olives and cooked in a tomato and spinach sauce. It's perfect for an easy midweek meal!
Why is it with fish that whenever I have a particular dish in mind when shopping, the shops never have the fish I want? I really wanted a flat fish for this rolled up fish recipe. Lemon sole would have been my first choice, but I'd have settled for Plaice. After all, that is what Jamie Oliver used in Happy Days with the Naked Chef, which is where this recipe is adapted from. As there was no flat fish, I chose some small fillets of pouting as they were the flattest fish I could see.
But best of all they didn't have many bones in them. I just hate removing bones, trying to grasp them between your nails and pulling only to be left with raw fish beneath your nails and the bone still in the fish. Yes, I know I could use tweezers but that would mean going on a hunt around the flat to find them. If you have a great hack for removing fish bones then do let me know!
Can you adapt these fish roll ups?
Like with any recipes, you can definitely adapt this to suit your circumstances.
The fish is stuffed by spreading the olive paste on the flat fish before rolling it up. The olive paste is really just a variation of tapenade. Tapenade is really easy to make as the sauce is simmering but you could use a jar of tapenade instead. That would make this easy fish dish even easier!
At the risk of changing this dish completely you could swap something else for the tapenade. How about a sundried tomato paste? Or harissa? I do LOVE harissa recipes!
If you are not able to find a flat fish but really want to make a dish with the same flavours then you could just add some olives to the tomato sauce as it is simmering. You could then easily use fish such as cod, pollack or hake.
Did we like this Mediterranean rolled up fish recipe?
I absolutely loved the strong flavours in the tapenade and the way the olives flavoured the sauce. It's simple but so so tasty. Unfortunately my lovely husband found it a bit fishy.
That is a problem he seems to have with fish. He doesn't like me to cook fish in any kind of sauce, although he is happy for a sauce to be made separately.
Why can't you get sea bass? He asked. Ok, next time. Or, as soon as I can find it...
Rolled up fish stuffed with olives in a tomato and spinach sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 250 ml stock or white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried basil use fresh basil if you have it
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper
- 75 g stoned black olives
- 2 anchovies from a tin
- 2 flat white fish fillets skinless and boneless
- 2 handfuls spinach
- Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan. When hot add the onion and garlic. When it softens add the stock, basil and chopped tomatoes. Turn the heat down so it simmers gently. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Prepare the olive paste. Put the olives and anchovies in a food processor with a little olive oil. Blend till smooth.
- Remove the skin from the fish if it has it and any bones. Spread the fillets with the olive paste. Roll up and secure with cocktail sticks.
- Gently place the fish into the sauce. Put the lid on the pan and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the fish from the pan. Add the spinach and stir till it wilts then spoon the rest of the sauce over the fish.
- Serve with fresh bread.
More Fish Recipes
I love cooking with fish and I usually eat fish a couple of times a month. Some of my favourite ways to cook it are by baking it in a parcel as in this fish escovitch recipe. I also love it with a simple lemon and parsley sauce - it reminds me of how my mum used to cook fish when I was growing up.
If you're looking for healthy fish recipes then this Brazilian fish bake is super tasty and colourful as well as easy.
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Do let me know if you make this stuffed rolled up fish recipe. I love to get feedback from readers.
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