Make this tonight — and serve it to friends on Saturday night. I think the pan sauce is tastiest when the cherry tomatoes have time to burst and shrink a bit in the oven — about 25 minutes — so choose a nice thick filet for this. Cod or haddock are both great. Halibut would be outstanding!

Cut your filet into 4 serving pieces before arranging in the pan (if the fishmonger hasn’t already done that for you). A Pyrex 9- x 13-inch pan would work fine for this, but something ceramic would make a nicer presentation, and an even better choice is an enameled cast-iron baker which retains and transfers heat beautifully. To double the recipe, use two pans.

Serves 4 (or 2 hungry folks)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more for rubbing pan and top of fish)
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds skinless white fish filet, cut into 4 serving pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 20 pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Balsamic glaze (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Cooked rice, couscous, potatoes, grilled bread, or polenta for serving (optional)

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Rub a 2-quart shallow baking dish all over with a bit of olive oil (about 2 teaspoons).

2. Arrange the fish in the pan. Brush the top of each piece with a little oil and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.

3. In a bowl, combine the cherry tomato halves, the olives, the garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and a big pinch of salt.

4. Pour and scrape the tomato-olive mixture over and around the fish filets. Sprinkle the butter pieces over the tops of the fish.

5. Roast for 25 minutes or until the fish is done to your liking and the tomatoes have burst and released a lot of juice in the pan.

6. Serve the fish immediately in shallow bowls or rimmed plates (over couscous or whatever you like – or nothing!) with the tomatoes, olives and all the juices evenly distributed between each dish (leave nothing in the pan!). If desired, drizzle with a little balsamic glaze. Garnish with the parsley.