Fried Flounder with Tapenade
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
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
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.