Pan Seared Fish with Tomato Basil Relish / Laura Agra / Katie Workman /

It’s August.  It’s hot.  And we still need to make dinner.

And we want it to be light, and we want it to be fast, and we want it to be seasonal, and we want it to be easy, and we want it to be delicious, and if we are lucky it will also be pretty.

My kids like (most) fish, (some) of the time).  This is something I usually keep to myself at cocktail parties and school parent coffees.  People who brag about their kids liking fish are just annoying as hell.  But since I’m sharing it here, I will also share that I am well aware this isn’t always the case, and I still do say an internal “whew” every time a fish meal goes down without a fuss.

And along with world peace, which doesn’t look likely any time soon, I would like for more kids to eat fish and like it.  This wish largely is for the parents, all of whom for I wish that internal “whew” that comes with watching your kid eat fish.  So the eternal mission to come up with fish recipes that can help make this happen.

This one is an easy breezy, end-of-summer offering.  Sure, if your kid doesn’t like fish or tomatoes, you are probably out of luck.  But there’s an interesting thing about this tomato topping, often known as bruschetta (and used to top crostini).  My kids will pick tomatoes out of salad, but they will eat this mixture by the scoopful.  Something about the blend of garlic and basil and olive oil and salt (never underestimate what a bit of salt can do to a tomato, or any other food for that matter) works time and again.  And it definitely worked on this piece of fish.

Pan Seared Fish with Tomato Basil Relish / Laura Agra / Katie Workman /

4 ingredients, including the fish (no, I don’t count olive oil, salt and pepper), about 20 minutes, and look, the prettiest summer meal.  The stove is on for all of 10 minutes, the tomato-basil topping is a no-cook proposition.  I kind of think this needs nothing else on the plate.  But obviously any potato or rice or grain would be a nice addition for more complete meal (I’m thinking Crispy Sauteed Potatoes).

Or maybe just promise ice cream for dessert.

More Fish Recipes for Dinner:

Pan Seared Fish with Tomato Basil Relish

Fish plus three basic ingredients plus 20 minutes gets you this for dinner. Think of this during tomato season.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 3 cups cored, seeded and diced ripe tomatoes about 3 large tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • ¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 6-ounce pieces flounder barramundi, tilapia, cod, or other mild white fish


  • Combine the tomatoes, 3 tablespoons olive oil, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper and sear for about 4 minutes on each side, without moving it around too much, until browned and cooked through.
  • Transfer the fish to individual plates. Place tomato mixture on the side or top of the fish, and serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 510mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1066IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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  1. …And You said your kids like fish the most? kindly make me your other kid cos am a fish lover.. nice write up dear! this time i like the presentation

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