Fish Baked in Tomato Sauce

The simplicity of fresh ingredients makes this Fish Baked in Tomato Sauce a weeknight favorite in my house.

Fish Baked in Tomato Sauce | She Paused 4 Thought

This approachable dish made with easy to find ingredients actually comes from a Turkish cafe in the Black Sea Region. It is just one of many unique recipes found in food and travel journalist Robyn Eckhardt’s latest cookbook, Istanbul and Beyond: Exploring Turkey’s Diverse Cuisines. But before you think this is another book calling for exotic ingredients, take note – most of the recipes use common ingredients in an unexpected way, and each is designed for the home cook.

Not only that, but this book of more than 125 recipes, well-seasoned stories, and engaging photographs, Istanbul and Beyond takes readers on a mesmerizing culinary journey across Turkey’s vast regions.

If there is one thing I really appreciate is a fellow traveler and culinary explorer.

Cathy and Robyn Eckhart | She Paused 4 Thought

I was thrilled to meet Robyn and her photographer husband David Hagerman. 

Robyn Eckhart & David Hagerman| Istanbul & Beyond

Their sixteen months of research in Istanbul and eastern Turkey has made their passion for Turkey, its people & food absolutely contagious.

Robyn’s recipes introduce the colorful dishes of Turkey’s distinct regional cuisines.

Istanbul & Beyond | Robyn Eckhardt

Here are a few I tasted at a media luncheon at Melissa’s Produce.

corn salad | Istanbul & Beyond

Corn Salad with Eggplant & Dill pg. 89

Spicy Egg Salad | Istanbul & Beyond

Spicy Egg Salad pg. 260

FIngerprint Flatbread | Istanbul & Beyond

Fingerprint Flatbread pg. 177

Olive Salad | Istanbul & Beyond

Green Olive Salad with Pomegranate Molasses pg. 272

cabbage-rolls | Istanbul & Beyond

Cabbage Rolls in Tomato & Sumac Sauce pg. 237

Beef Soup | Istanbul & Beyond

Slow Cooked Beef & Vegetables pg. 152

Hazelnut Bar Cookies | Istanbul & Beyond

Hazelnut Bar Cookies pg. 117

Orange Cookies | Istanbul & Beyond

Fragrant Orange Cookies pg. 75

cabbage-rolls | Istanbul & Beyond

Robyn demonstrated at Melissa’s Produce how to make the most delicious cabbage rolls. If you would like a tutorial on how to make them, check out Maggie’s blog Omnivore’s Cookbook.

Here are a few other delicious recipes that I have also tried at home.

Istanbul & Beyond | Robyn Eckhardt

Sweet Triangle Buns filled with Caramelized Corn Flour page 93  

Istanbul & Beyond | Robyn Eckhardt

Corn & Creme Fraiche Biscuits page 132 with Cherry Tomato Preserves page 160 served with Blue Cheese

Today’s Recipe: Fish Baked In Tomato Sauce

I made this recipe with fresh tomatoes and, just recently, with canned tomatoes. I honestly preferred the canned tomato version so try it this way, then wait until summer and try them with the fresh so you can decide for yourself.

Istanbul & Beyond | She Paused 4 Thought

This comes together quickly, making it the perfect weeknight meal. I served it with broccoli to round out the meal.

Istanbul & Beyond | She Paused 4 Thought

Fish Baked in Tomato Sauce
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Turkish
No special culinary skills are needed for this flavor-packed dish. Perfect weeknight meal served with a salad and green vegetable.
  • 3 medium-large ripe, juicy tomatoes, chopped (about 2½ cups), or one 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about ⅓ cup)
  • 1 medium green, red, or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced (about ⅔ cup)
  • 1 or 2 green jalapenos or 1 Anaheim chile, halved lengthwise, seeded if desired, and diced
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pound salmon, mackerel, or other skln-on fillets (I used orange roughy)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter (optional)
  • 1 medium tomato, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
  1. Combine the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, chiles, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, add the water, and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a steady simmer and stir in the vinegar. Cook, uncovered, until the mixture is reduced to a semi-thick sauce, about 20 minutes if using canned tomatoes, 25 to 30 minutes if using fresh tomatoes.
  2. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. When the sauce is done, lay the fish fillets on top of it. Divide the oil or butter, if using, between the fillets. Arrange the tomato slices over the fish.
  4. Bake the fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness for medium to well-done, or to your preferred doneness. Sprinkle the parsley over the fish and serve immediately.
Cook time: 40 mins
Serves: 4

I have really enjoyed reading and cooking my way through Istanbul and Beyond: Exploring Turkey’s Diverse Cuisines.  What I find interesting are the incredibly diverse kitchen techniques that are found in every culture’s cuisine to make dishes that are actually quite similar to each other – maybe it’s just one big culinary world with different ways to achieve the same result.

When this cookbook is not in my kitchen, it’s on my coffee table so my guests can enjoy the wonderful photographs of Istanbul and Beyond.
…and then, she paused for thought.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of Istanbul and Beyond to cook with. All opinions are my own.
Fish Baked in Tomato Sauce | She Paused 4 Thought


About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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8 Responses to Fish Baked in Tomato Sauce

  1. ronalewis January 7, 2018 at 9:38 am #

    This looks wonderfully easy-I bet you could even substitute other herbs, like dill or chervil and it would still be delicious!!

    • Cathy January 8, 2018 at 6:39 pm #

      I think you could make all sorts of substitutions and it would work. It is a great basic recipe.

  2. Agness of Run Agness Run January 9, 2018 at 1:43 am #

    Yum! This fish recipe seems mouth-watering! I can’t wait to prepare it! 🙂

  3. Sara January 12, 2018 at 10:11 am #

    What a beautifully simple dish! I bet it would be amazing with Hatch Chiles too. I’m going to try this next week. xoxox

  4. Christina | Christina's Cucina January 14, 2018 at 8:08 am #

    What a fabulous array of food! I am missing out on all these Melissa’s events! This one looked especially good, Cathy. And this fish dish you made: WOW! Spectacular! I just shared it on FB and my readers agree, too! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Greg Henry (@sippitysup) January 18, 2018 at 3:07 pm #

    It’s fascinating to think that all these exotic dishes have been re-imagined for the we cook in the US. That’s a smart idea.

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