Get Saucy! Brilliant Olive-Caper-Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette for Fish or Chicken

“Brilliant” is a strong talk for a simple sauce and not used lightly. I definitely don’t use the sauce lightly. I double the recipe and eat the leftover with a spoon.  Olives, capers, herbs, lemon, olive oil and vinegar, boom. No cooking. Make it in advance. Make it at the last minute. Make it for your friends. Just make it. 

Olive Vinaigrette for fish, chicken, or vegetables. Recipe by Stephanie Valentine.

Yet another of Chef Stephanie Valentine’s sublimely delicious sauces. For simple fish or chicken, or even vegetables–but the tanginess makes it especially good for fish. Healthy, too, but don’t be turned off by that. (To compensate, you can cook the fish in butter and eat bacon for hors d’oeuvres.)   Special enough for company, simple enough for everyday. My kind of recipe.  If you are intimidated by cooking fish – don’t be. Here is a fool-proof 4-minute YouTube video by Susan Odell for pan-frying. Cooking in real time takes 4-5 minutes. A breeze. Any fish works, and I recommend a thickness of about a half-inch, so you have a generous ratio of sauce to fish with every bite. Bliss.

Olive-Caper-Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
Serves: 4
No cooking required. This great all-purpose sauce for fish, chicken, or vegetables is prepared in as long as it takes to chop the ingredients.
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Prep Time: 20 min
Prep Time
20 min
  1. 2 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  2. 4 tablespoons sliced “good” olives, such as kalamata, luques, castelvetrano etc.
  3. 2 tablespoon chopped capers
  4. 2 sprigs each of thyme and oregano, leaves only, chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  6. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  7. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  8. 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar or small bowl. That's it.
  2. Spoon over fish, chicken, or vegetables.
  1. Can be made ahead and stored, covered and refrigerated, for several days. Let it come to room temperature, or warm it gently, before serving.
Frances Schultz


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