Fish with Basil-Pepper Compote

A very nice summer dish that will impress guests.
Based on a recipe by Molly O'Neill that appeared in The New York Times, June 12, 1994.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinating Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Course: Grill, Main Course - Seafood
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano



  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion minced, approximately 1/3 cup
  • 1 red pepper finely diced
  • 1 yellow pepper finely diced
  • 1 tomato seeded and 1/4 diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped


  • 4 fish steaks, 6 ounces each firm white fish works well like sea bass, swordfish, halibut.



  • In baking dish add garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and white wine; whisk to combine. Add onions and peppers, stir to combine; set aside for 1 hour.
  • Add tomatoes and basil to mixture, adjust seasoning to taste. Nestle fish in mixture, spooning some on top to cover. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 - 4 hours.


  • Preheat grill. Clean grill thoroughly with brush. Set temperature to medium. Oil grates. Remove fish from marinade and place on grill; sear 3 minutes on each side. After turning fish, spoon compote on top and partially cover grill so fish is allowed to smoke. Total cooking time will vary depending on thickness of fish, typically 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Place remaining compote in a small pot and heat on stove until it boils. Remove fish with topping to serving plate. Serve immediately, passing extra compote separately.


Pairs well with corn on the cob or potatoes.