Fried Flounder with Tapenade

flounder with tapenade.png
flounder with tapenade.png

Fried fish, topped with plenty of olives, capers, and extra virgin olive oil, with some crusty bread for dipping reminds us of summer- screaming drags, breaching fish, long days on a tiny boat. It’s a simple dish that we frequent all summer, and during the lull of the post-waterfowl season it’s a reprieve from the bitter cold, a hopeful look ahead to warmer weather.

Any flaky fish will work in this dish, but we particularly like skin-on flounder for the extra crunch. The spelt flour adds a bit of depth and great texture without soaking up too much oil and tasting greasy. We use whatever olives we have around- a mix of colors, flavors and textures from a variety of olives does wonders to elevate the tapenade.


Spelt-Fried Flounder with Tapenade

Prep time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2-4



1-2 fillets of flaky fish, depending on size

~1 cup spelt flour

Salt & pepper

Oil for frying


2 cups mixed olives, pitted

~¼ cup EVOO

2 tbsp capers

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Combine the olives and capers in a food processor and pulse, adding in a little bit of olive oil at a time. Continue to pulse until you have the desired texture. We prefer a more textured tapenade, but more oil and processing will yield a smoother product.

Preheat a deep sided pan, wide enough for the fillet, with ¼” of canola oil to around 350F. Season fish fillet with salt and pepper, then dredge through the spelt flour, covering both sides. Shake off excess spelt. Fry fillet in oil, about 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove from pan and allow oil to drain off on a paper towel or cooling rack. Serve with tapenade, extra virgin olive oil, plenty of lemon and bread or pasta.