Sauteed Fish With Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette and Lemon Aioli 4.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post

Sunday Supper Jul 20, 2017

The beauty of this recipe is that the two sauces can be made as many as 4 days ahead. Just keep them covered and chilled, then whisk them a bit before serving. Even better, they happen to go very well not only with sauteed fish, but also with grilled chicken, shrimp or vegetables.

Or you can double down on the seasonal bounty by tossing the vinaigrette with chopped fresh tomatoes and then piling the mixture onto grilled bread drizzled with the aioli. It’s an appetizer so good you may end up forgetting about the main course.

Serve with grilled corn on the cob or your favorite slaw.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the tomato vinaigrette
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • Water (optional)
  • For the lemon aioli
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (low-fat if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • For the fish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Six 6-ounce firm-fleshed white fish fillet pieces (3/4- to 1-inch thick, skin-on or skinless), such as tilapia, catfish or bass (go to to find sustainable options)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Wondra or all-purpose flour, for coating the fish
  • Tarragon leaves or chopped chives, for garnish


For the tomato vinaigrette: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Arrange the tomatoes, cut sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle them evenly with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle them with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake (middle rack) until they have shriveled and browned slightly, about 30 minutes.

Transfer them immediately, along with any juices from the pan, to a blender. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sherry vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; puree until silky smooth. Taste and add the remaining vinegar, as needed. Season lightly with salt and pepper; add water, as needed, to make the vinaigrette spoonable.

For the lemon aioli: Whisk together the mayo, the lemon zest and juice, and the garlic in a bowl.

For the fish: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish lightly with salt and pepper and dip it in the flour, coating it on both sides and shaking off the excess.

Once the oil shimmers, add the fish to the pan and cook it just until it is opaque and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Place a fillet on each plate. Spoon the vinaigrette generously over each portion and drizzle the lemon aioli on top. Garnish with the tarragon or chives and serve right away.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Sara Moulton.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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