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Baked haddock with tomatoes, red onion, peppers, capers and bay leaves, in olive oil

A fisherman is getting ready for the catch of the day, the Bosphorus, Istanbul

Do you like fish? How do you like your fish cooked? We have a delicious and easy all-in-one-tray baked fish with vegetables this week. Fish is generally grilled or lightly fried in Turkey. “Balik & Ekmek”, is one of the most popular street foods at home, where the fisherman shallow fries the catch of the day at his boat and serves in our traditional white loaf, ekmek, with a slice of lemon by the side. A first bite of that fish sandwich, especially if you are by the Bosphorus or anywhere by the coast, is just heavenly.

A fisherman by Golden Horn, Istanbul, grilling the catch of the day for "Balik & Ekmek"

Regarded as a symbol of fertility, fish is very much enjoyed at home, especially at the coastal regions. Turkey is bounded by the sea on three sides – the Mediterranean, Aegean and the Black Sea. With the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and Dardanelles at northwest, Turkey has over 7,000km (4,350 miles) of coastline. The plentiful fishing waters provide daily catches of bluefish, red and grey mullet, swordfish, sea bass, tuna, bonito, turbot, plaice, mackerel, sardines, anchovies and many more. In most of the coastal regions, fish is bought very fresh, straight off the boats at the daily fish market, still swimming around in the buckets or beautifully arranged on ice.

It is the palamut or bonito, as well as lufer (blue fish) season in Turkey at the moment; please check out A Seasonal Cook in Turkey’s lovely post on these seasonal fish in Turkey.

We Turks also like baking the fish with vegetables; the wonderful juices of the vegetables and lemon juice make a refreshing, delicious sauce. We very much enjoyed this baked haddock with red onions, peppers, tomatoes cooked in olive oil, with bay leaves and capers recently; the flesh has been succulent and moist, and delicately flavored with bay leaves. I added a handful of capers for an extra zing, the flavors complemented each other beautifully. As the fish is baked with vegetables together, you have a delicious, healthy meal ready in about 45 minutes, a precious extra bonus!

Baked haddock with vegetables and capers, cooked in olive oil; delicious, healthy and so easy.

This baked fish and vegetables dish is also delicious made with a variety of fish, such as bonito, trout, salmon, sea bass or mackerel. The squeeze of lemon to the finished dish gives an extra zing and a refreshing flavor.

How about finishing the meal with a sweet note? These caramelized dried apricots with walnuts stuffing may just fit the bill : )

This recipe is adapted from The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking by Ghillie Basan, one of my favorite Turkish cookery authors.

Baked haddock with tomatoes, red onion, peppers, capers and bay leaves

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes                                     Cooking time: 40-45 minutes

4 fillets of haddock –or any filleted fish of your choice

4 tomatoes, sliced

1 red onion, cut in half lengthways and sliced

1 green and 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut in half lengthways and sliced (you can also use chillies for a spicy flavor)

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped

4 dried bay leaves (or 6-8 fresh bay leaves)

2 tbsp capers in jar, its juice drained and rinsed

4-5 tbsp olive oil

Sea Salt and ground black pepper to taste

I lemon, cut into wedges to serve


Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4

Arrange the vegetables and the bay leaves in between the fish fillets.

Place the fish in a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle them with sea salt and ground black pepper. Arrange the onions, tomatoes and peppers over and around the fish. Tuck the bay leaves around the fish and pour over the olive oil. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Stir in the capers and the parsley, give a gentle mix.

Remove the foil and stir in the capers and the parsley, give a gentle mix. Place the dish back to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes for the fish to brown slightly.

Baked fish with vegetables now ready to eat; all you need is a squeeze of lemon over!

Serve hot with wedges of lemon squeezed over the fish and garnish each plate with the vegetables and bay leaves.

Afiyet Olsun,






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34 Responses to Baked haddock with tomatoes, red onion, peppers, capers and bay leaves, in olive oil

  1. BacktoBodrum November 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    The publisher of G. Basan’s book stayed with us about 13 years ago and very kindly sent me a copy – I’ve used it almost non stop since.

    • Ozlem November 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      I know what you mean, it is like a bible for me too, Ghillie writes fantastic books 🙂

  2. Barbara November 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    I have seen the fishermen at the Bosporus and eaten their wonderful fresh fih, but your recipe looks especially delicious!

    • Ozlem November 16, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Many thanks Barbara, the grilled fish eaten by the Bosphorus is a real treat, I am glad that my recipes looks inviting too, thank you:)

  3. Claudia November 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    Thank you for the very kind mention, Özlem! I must try to find a copy of this book as well as the other one you recommended in your previous post:)
    Take care! x

    • Ozlem November 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Merhaba Claudia,
      You are very welcome! – your blog with all the wonderful, seasonal produce from home, always inspires me:)
      xx Ozlem

  4. Peri November 16, 2012 at 3:45 am #

    Ozlem, the flavors of this baked fish look so fresh and inviting…love the color of peppers, red onions and capers against the white fish. Bay leaf is a unique touch here…I like it:) And I’m with you, nothing like a dash of lemon to brighten fish up! Great recipe…xx Peri.

    • Ozlem November 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      Thank you Peri, very kind – we have very similar taste buds, so glad you enjoyed the recipe : ) xx Ozlem

  5. TasteofBeirut November 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Love this recipe with the fish , peppers, onions and capers; it is that light, lemony, satisfying combo that is so mouthwatering every time! YUM!

    • Ozlem November 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      Thank you for stopping by; I feel the same, loved the refreshing flavor combination in this fish recipe, glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Alida November 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    Your pictures are always amazing! I love these very Mediterranean fish recipe. I often buy haddock and love the way you have cooked it!

    • Ozlem November 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Ciao Alida, many thanks!

  7. Phil in the Kitchen November 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    That’s a lovely (and simple) way to cook fish. I think I’d include a hint of chillies in my portion.

    • Ozlem November 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Hi Phil, I am with you, a few chillies in the baked fish would go nicely, the original recipe calls for them too. Mine needed to be a bit more child friendly 🙂 glad you enjoyed it!

    • Ozlem November 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      Hi Phil, I am with you; a few chillies would go very nicely, the original recipe included them too – mine needed to be a bit child friendly 🙂

    • Ozlem November 18, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

      Hi Phil, I am with you; a few chillies will go very nicely here – mine needed to be milder and a bit more child friendly 🙂

  8. Olga@Delicious Istanbul November 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    What impresses me about buğlama is how humble prep can yield such as magic flavor! My mother-in-law makes hers with anchovy fillets and this is what I’ve adopted from her too – our family is always looking forward to the dish. Loved your capers addition!

    • Ozlem November 19, 2012 at 10:32 am #

      Merhaba Olga;
      Many thanks for stopping by; you are so right, simple prep, magical flavors, all blended in nicely, we love this dish too! Bugulama with anchovy fillets sounds very delicious too; I usually wrap them in vine leaves to keep them moist:)

  9. Susan November 21, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Wow, Ozlem! I could almost smell how wonderful that fish is from your post. Lovely

    • Ozlem November 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

      Greetings across the pond Susan, many thanks for stopping by!

  10. Tuba November 23, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Looks great Ozlem…Ellerine saglik!!
    It’s late at night here and it’s definitely not the right time to look at delicious looking food photos and recipes!!

    • Ozlem November 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

      Cok tesekkurler Tuba 🙂

  11. Nedret October 25, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    my mom used make this dish with palamut on Sundays in istanbul. We used to called ” palamut pilaki” . Thank you for the beautiful recipe and good old memories…..

    • Ozlem Warren October 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      Merhaba Nedret; thank you so much for your kind note, and I am glad it brought back happy memories : ) I have a lot of happy memories of this dish being at the centerpiece at my parents home, food memories are special : ) Sevgiler, Ozlem

  12. Zineb October 26, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Merhaba !

    I ate one of these “Balik Ekmek” at Eminonu last month… and it was incredibly delicious !! I wish I can have them where I live.
    I’ll try out your recipe very soon Inshallah.

    • Ozlem Warren October 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Merhaba Zineb 🙂 thank you for stopping by; I love the balik & ekmek off the boats in Eminonu too; freshly made, just in front of you, with an amazing view of Golden Horn & Bosphorus! I hope you enjoy the baked haddock recipe! Cok selamlar, Ozlem

    • Fumiko Lombardi January 15, 2020 at 1:45 pm #

      Hi! My name is Mrs Fumiko! Your recipes look completely delicious. I lived in Jerusalem and around for over a year, and wax poetic for a splendid tahini sauce and that is how I found your site.

      I’m very impressed w the sincerity and totality of your site and recipes. The references are super. If you have any advice on finding a specific brand of tahini sauce? I would be most grateful.

      • Ozlem Warren January 19, 2020 at 5:30 pm #

        Merhaba Mrs Fumiko,

        Many thanks for your kind note, so glad you are enjoying my blog and recipes. I am very passionate about my homeland’s delicious, wholesome Turkish cuisine and it is a pleasure to share recipes here with you all. Re tahini, brand Koska is good; alternatively, any organic tahini brand should be good.
        Also, wanted to let you know that my cookery book Ozlem’s Turkish Table has over 90 authentic recipes (over 75 % vegetarian) with stunning photography, and stories from my homeland. My book recently got the Gourmand Cook Book Award, the Oscars of the cookery books, which we were delighted. If you like, you can get a Signed copy of my book at the link below, it is now 15 % off and delivered worldwide including USA at the link below:

        Thank you and Afiyet Olsun,


  13. Josh February 15, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    I am making this dish tonight for the first time. I am beginning a Mediterranean Diet plan to lower cholesterol. Excited to try the finished product

    • Ozlem Warren February 16, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

      Merhaba Josh, thank you for your note – great choice, packed with goodness and flavor, hope you enjoy it – Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem

  14. Evans January 9, 2020 at 12:22 pm #

    This looks so yummy. I’ll be trying this one soon for sure! Thanks for posting!

    • Ozlem Warren January 9, 2020 at 3:56 pm #

      You are welcome – a delicious, easy recipe, hope you enjoy it, Afiyet Olsun, Ozlem

  15. James Herring June 29, 2020 at 6:38 pm #

    Hi Ozlem,
    I have put a version of your recipe – and a link to it – on my blog. See

    Best wishes,
    James Herring, Dunbar, Scotland

    • Ozlem Warren July 1, 2020 at 11:04 am #

      Merhaba James,

      Many thanks for your kind note and linking to my recipe; I enjoyed your post and the lovely article.

      Afiyet olsun, Ozlem

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