Baked Tilapia with Tomatoes, Eggplant &

Preserved Lemon

By Debbie Kornberg

This baked fish dish captures the traditional Sephardic flavors of the region. Using tomatoes, eggplant, cumin and lemon, feel like you have travelled to North Africa without ever leaving your kitchen. 

Serves 2-4


4-6 pieces of Tilapia

6 Tbsp. Galili Olive Oil

1/2 Eggplant, thinly sliced

1 Onion, diced

4 – 6 Garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup White wine (not sweet)

1 large can of diced tomatoes

1 Tbsp. SPICE + LEAF Moroccan Sweet Paprika

1 Tbsp. SPICE + LEAF Debbie’s Smoked Paprika

1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder

1 Tbsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Ground Cumin

1 tsp. SPICE + LEAF Ground Sumac

1/2 tsp. Ground Cardamom

1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander

1/2 tsp. Fresh lemon peel

Pinch of Salt

3/4 cup Water

4-6 pieces of Tilapia

1 lemon, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven at 450 degrees.

  2. Thinly slice eggplant. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly baste each eggplant on both sides with olive oil. Cook for about 15 minutes or until eggplant is toasty brown. Remove from oven, let cook and then cut into small pieces. Set aside.

  3. Using a large pan that has a lid, sauté onions and garlic until slightly caramelized. Add wine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

  4. Add can of diced tomatoes, eggplant, spices, lemon peel and water. Cook on simmer for about 15 minutes so flavors can meld together.  If sauce seems too think, add a little more water.

  5. Place each piece of fish into pan on top of tomato sauce. Place a couple of slice lemons on top of each piece of fish. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes but check to make sure fish does not get overcooked. Fish should be flakey.


Place sauce in a Pyrex baking dish and lay fish on top with sliced lemons and cook in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until fish is done.

Enjoy and Spice On!