Sephardic Fish with Olives

Sephardic Fish with Olives

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2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/2 tsp turmeric
big pinch saffron
1/2 cup water
handful green olives (olives with pits tend to soften into the sauce better, but feel free to go with pitted if you don't want the hassle)
1 lb white fish fillets or steaks (I used swai)
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
few dashes hot sauce
salt to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat, then add the garlic and sautee for a few minutes, until it just begins to brown. Add the tomato puree (careful of spatters!), turmeric, saffron, stir for a minute, and then add the water and olives. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, and simmer for a couple of minutes, until it comes together and thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the fish fillets/steaks, nestling them in the sauce. Cover, and simmer gently until the fish is almost done (the exact time will vary, depending upon the type and size of the fish). When it's a few minutes shy of done, add the cilantro, lemon juice, and hot sauce, stirring gently to combine. Taste and season as needed. Re-cover and cook until done. Serve with crusty bread or couscous.