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Filet of halibut surrounded with balsamic glazeChef Paolo Vasapolli served his baked fish over baby bok choy sautéed with garlic and little chili peppers.

Tapenade a crisp topping for baked fish

You can do more with halibut than slather it in batter and drop it into a deep fryer, says Paolo Vasapolli, executive chef in Food and Catering Services.

His recipe for baked halibut tops it with an olive tapenade, making it free of dairy and gluten.

Baked Halibut with Olive Tapenade Crust


  • 4 filets of halibut or cod
  • 20 kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • chopped parsley (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Chop the olives and capers and put into a bowl.
  3. Add the minced garlic, onion, chili flakes, and the zest from the lemon and stir.
  4. Using a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients until they begin to form a paste.
  5. Heat a frying pan with a little oil. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper.
  6. Place the fish in the hot pan skin side up first and sear the top for a minute or less, until it’s light brown in colour.
  7. Remove the fish filets and place on a baking sheet. Top with the tapenade.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the fish is done and flaky. The time required to cook will depend on the thickness of the fish.

Vasapolli suggests a balsamic glaze garnish, “You can buy one or make your own.” He provides this recipe: In a small pot reduce balsamic vinegar with brown sugar until it coats the back of the spoon, season with salt and pepper and let cool; it will thicken.

“If you have glaze left over, store it at room temperature,” says Vasapolli. “It will last for a long time and goes great with sandwiches like turkey or beef.”

Find more recipes — as well as a place to submit your own — on the Healthy Eating website.