Fish with Olive Lemon Salsa

Fish with Olive Lemon Salsa

Fish with Olive Lemon Salsa
5 from 2 votes

Fish with Olive Lemon Salsa

I can’t remember where I got the idea to dice the flesh of a lemon and use it in a sauce.

But I’m very glad I did.

Love how using an everyday ingredient like the humble lemon in a slightly different way makes it feel like a completely new ingredient!

The flavours in this salsa are big, bold and fresh so best suited to your more meaty fish steaks or oily fish like salmon.

But it’s also amazing with pork chops or some good quality sausages. And of course you could always serve it with good old chicken.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian, modern
Keyword 20-minutes, dinner, fast, fish, lemon, olives, quick, salmon, salsa, simple
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 2 handfuls pitted black olives 100g / 3.5oz
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 small clove garlic minced
  • small bunch oregano leaves picked
  • 2 fish fillets or steaks
  • cucumber or salad leaves to serve


  1. For the salsa, chop olives. Peel and chop lemon into small dice, discarding any seeds as you go. Combine olives, diced lemon, minced garlic and oregano leaves in a small bowl. Moisten with 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Leave to stand for the flavours to mingle while you cook the fish.
  2. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat. Season fish with salt on both sides. Add a splash of oil to the hot pan and cook fish for 3-5 minutes or until browned on the outside and cooked to your liking.
  3. Divide fish between two plates. Spoon over the olive lemon salsa. Serve with cucumber or green salad on the side.

WINE MATCH: A nice crisp dry white like Riesling or Pinot Gris.

Variations & Substitutions

different veg – any green veg will work. Try beautiful broccoli, green beans, asparagus, Winter greens. Roast veg are lovely too – I especially love roast zucchini or cauliflower!

vegetarian – serve salsa with pan fried halloumi or roast eggplant and goats cheese.

more substantial (carb lovers) – serve with roast or steamed potatoes. Or crusty bread.

more substantial (low carb) – larger fish fillets. Roast almonds or macadamias. A big dollop of mayonnaise.

Low FODMAP – soak garlic in the extra virgin olive oil for 10-15 minutes then remove and discard garlic before stirring the flavoured oil into the salsa. Or just skip it. Or replace with a few tablespoons chopped garlic chives.

different herbs – replace oregano with flat leaf parsley, marjoram or basil.

no olives – use capers instead. Or just skip them and make a lemon herb salsa.

carnivore – serve salsa with pork chops or good quality pork sausages.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

olives – keep them in the pantry.

lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

onion – will keep in the pantry for months. Best if in a dark corner in a brown paper bag.

oregano – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen or make a parsley oil by packing the leaves into a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.

fish fillets or steaks – freeze them.

– use for another meal. Will keep in the fridge in a plastic bag for 2 weeks or so.

salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they won’t go slimy.

Prepare Ahead

You can make the salsa a day or two ahead and just add the oregano before serving. Fish and salad are best when freshly made. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen. Salad leaves won’t freeze well though.

Fish with Olive Lemon Salsa

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x

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  • That’s dinner sorted for tomorrow then! Can’t wait to try the salsa, what a great idea. I’ve used the whole flesh of a lemon before in a lemon/parsley/garlicy pilaf – it packs such a great flavour punch, added at the end too to retain that freshness.

    • I made it with salmon here Sam – but most hearty fish will work. It’s especially fab with oily fish because the sharpness of the lemon and olives provides a wonderful contrast.

  • It’s like… you looked in my fridge and pantry and knew what I had there! lol Making this for Good Friday! Sounds amazing.

  • What type of black olives do you recommend? The plain canned ones? Kalamata?

    • Kalamatas if you have them. But any olives will work. I’ve made it with green olives as well and loved it :)

  • 5 stars
    This was really good. Used it both on fish and pork chops. Many thanks for this idea. Ruth.

  • 5 stars
    Just made this for dinner tonight-and it is amazing! We live near Lake Tahoe in California and have gotten so much snow the last couple of weeks that I haven’t made it to the grocery much-so I made a couple of substitutions. No fresh oregano-so put in some dried then realized I had some fresh cilantro-so added that right before putting the salsa on the fish. Also, used a preserved lemon instead of fresh-and it was terrific. We had mahi mahi that my husband had caught a few months ago-it worked really well with the salsa. I love that your recipes are so simple and flavorful-and are easily customized if needed. Thank you!

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