Yes, you read that right. 5 minutes. Sheet Pan. Kale!
Introducing your new go-to weeknight dinner: fillets of fish and piles of crispy kale doused in a spicy chili oil with capers and lemon ready in 5 minutes. Aaand we’re out. You don’t need any other recipes. My work here is done.
I’ve tried this recipe with Mediterranean sea bass, flounder, and tilapia. Any thin white fish would do. Meatier fish like cod or hake would probably work too, but might need to cook longer. Try this with different types of kale (curly, lacinato, purple!), or with other hearty, leafy greens like Swiss chard or escarole.
The fish and kale are roasted simply with olive oil, salt, and pepper (and a smattering of capers). All of the flavor comes from the oil that you drizzle over at the end- loaded with lemon, chili, and garlic. Can you think of a more iconic trio?
The cooking time is key here: 5 minutes at 400 degrees is the perfect amount of time to get tender, flaky fish and bright green kale that has just begun to crisp at the edges. If you’re cooking with a larger fish or a different vegetable, consider roasting them on separate sheet pans so that you can better monitor their individual cooking times.
This is a meal that cooks so quickly it may even sneak up on you. Be prepared: light the candles, set the table, and do the dishes before you put the fish in the oven. Get your dinner accoutrements ready so you can enjoy the meal freshly roasted.
Finish with an extra squeeze of lemon and flaky sea salt, which kicks up the pizazz of the whole dish. A glass of wine and some crusty bread makes the meal complete.
- ¼ cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 small garlic clove finely grated
- 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Juice from ½ a lemon about 2 tablespoons, plus the other 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1.5 lbs flounder tilapia, sea bass or other thin white fish
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 2 bunches kale 6-8 cups, de-stemmed and torn into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons capers chopped
- Flaky sea salt optional, for serving
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the ¼ cup olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and juice from ½ a lemon in a small bowl or measuring cup (use the lemon zest too if you’re up for it).
Lay the flounder on a rimmed sheet pan and season it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place lemon slices on top and scatter kale and capers over everything. Drizzle kale with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, toss the kale a bit with your hands to make sure everything is evenly seasoned.
Place in oven and roast until kale is wilted and lightly charred, and flounder is opaque and cooked through (145F), about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle everything with the garlic chili oil. Sprinkle flaky sea salt on top and serve with additional lemon slices.
The flaky sea salt and extra squeeze of lemon at the end really helps elevate this dish from great to delicious, I wouldn’t leave that step out. I'd also drizzle a bit of good olive oil over each serving.
Zesty and refreshing white wines will balance the delicate fish and cool down the heat of the spicy chili oil. Pinot Grigio, Vinho Verde, Albariño, or Sauvignon Blanc would be great options.