When taking a family trip to Sunset Beach, NC, I got inspired when I went to the local fish market. Bill’s Seafood is just 5 minutes from where the boats come in, so the fish is extremely fresh. I started off this dish by asking what they had and went from there. The fish monger was very helpful and taught me about grouper cheeks. Grouper cheeks are a type of grouper meat that soft and delicate. However, this particular fish was only $13/lb instead of the $24/lb for whole grouper.

Although it was extremely tender and I would recommend it, it may not be fresh or available. You can use any white fish like sea bass, mahi mahi, snaper, or cod. (I’m going to confess, I did put some cod in because I didn’t think we quite had enough grouper.)

I loved this particular recipe because of the delicious Mediterranean-style flavors, including tomatoes, olives, lemon juice, and garlic. It’s a quick cook, so this healthy dish is ready is just around 20 minutes! Perfect for any weeknight or a dinner party.


  • 1 1/2 lb grouper, chunks (or a similar fish)
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay
  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 to 8 pitted olives, sliced (I used Castelvetrano )
  • Chopped fresh dill (about 1/4 oz or so)
  • Salt


Grouper cheeks from the local fish monger.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Pat the fish dry and season with old bay (and/or salt) on both sides. Place seasoned fish in a lightly-oiled baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil.

Arrange on top: garlic, olives, tomatoes. Season with Salt (again).

Place lemon slices on top.

Bake in heated oven for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and easily flakes with a fork. (if you use a different fish, or depending on the size of the cuts, cooking size may vary.)

Remove from heat and top with fresh dill. Enjoy!

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