For all my girls friends who love my cooking but think cooking is complicated – well ladies, and other ladies i don’t know, this dish is for you. Easy and juicy – I promise your men will ask for more.
I always thought fish fillet was too pale and boring to cook or eat.
I was wrong. Halleluyah.
So while I was healing myself from the tough mental and physical changes after the move from NY to Florida and getting used to my new kitchen (bigger, better, newer, brighter..hmm), my search for fresh interesting ingredients has begun. Cooking always made me feel at home and I assure you, I’d feel the same way even in your kitchen.
Armed with limited choices I hit the local supermarket, its boring but my husband, a lover of Moroccan cuisine, wanted fish that night and even with limitations i had to come up with something. I left the fish counter carrying a small pack of fresh tilapia fillet but honestly, fillet was never my choice. When my mother cooks fillet she always prepare another dish of whole fish just for me. But now I had to use my imagination.
And like with anything else i do, i like to get inspired even for my dishes. A bright and colorful nail polishes in the cosmetic isle did the trick – i would steam the fillet with olive oil and lots of green herbs, garlic, bright red cherry tomatoes and purple olives?
In a perfect world I would use my mother’s Moroccan cooking – hot and spicy, vivid red sauce that requires an embarrassing amount of bread for relief, nevertheless – it is heaven. But that’s another post.
feeds: about 4 unless you’re really hungry then it’s one
fresh 3 or 4 tilapia fillet
handful fresh chopped dill
salt and fresh black pepper
1 sliced lemon
2 tbsp unsalted butter
less than 1/4 cup of olive oil (eye-ball it)
a couple of chopped garlic cloves
1 package fresh baby spinach
handful baby grape tomatoes
xv olive oil/balsamic – 3 to 1 part (for dressing)
olives (any kind you like. I prefer kalamata for the color and grassy flavor)
handful pecan (roasted even better)
Preparation: Lay aluminum foil (optional – less mess) in a baking pan. Place rinsed and dried fish and sprinkle with salt, drizzle with olive oil and lay the butter somewhere in the pan. Spread garlic and dill, cover with another sheet of foil to create an incubator and tight it on all sides. Bake 350º, 20-25 min (depending on your oven).
Meanwhile, in a bowl combine spinach, tomatoes and olives. Sprinkle the dressing of olive oil and balsamic that you’ve already prepared and flavor with a salt and fresh bp (black pepper). Mix salad gently.
Carefully (it’s hot and because i wasn’t and I ripped the foil with a spoon which made the sauce run under…messy), uncover the aromatic tilapia and transfer, with the lemon/garlic/dill deal, to a beautiful dish. On its side lay some of the freshly made spinach/tomato salad. Zap it with bp, chopped dill and garnish with pecans. Slices of fresh lemon add a pop of color.
eat. bon appetit.