Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tilapia Provencal

My Mom used to make this for us when we were growing up, and she always told us it was "diet" fish... I guess that's what you say to four teenage daughters who complain about their weight, and sometimes what's for dinner!  Anyway, I have always love the intense, salty flavors of Provence on fish. Any kind works; snapper, halibut, ling cod, but I do like tilapia so much because it's firm, but thin, so it cooks up super fast.  You could even make this with frozen tilapia loins, but you might have to bake an additional 1-2 minutes.

About that "diet" part, I think she really meant healthy... there is very little oil in the dish and the basic ingredients are healthy... maybe a bit high on the sodium scale, but that's okay.  I didn't add any salt to this dish, it had everything it needed, but if you don't care for salty flavors then I would rinse the capers, use 'no salt' canned tomatoes and omit the anchovies.

Serves 4
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium-size onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (optional)
3-4 anchovy fillets, mashed up
1 (15oz) canned diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
12-14 kalamata olives, pitted, sliced
1-2 Tbsp capers, mashed
4 tilapia fillets, or other white fish fillets
Fresh Pepper- - -you might not need salt with all the above salty ingredients!
2-3 Tbsp fresh basil, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large saute pan, or fry pan with a lid, heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, add anchovies and garlic; saute another 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

Add tomatoes, thyme, olives and capers; simmer, uncovered, over medium heat 8-10 minutes.  Add fish fillets and cover with a spoon full of sauce or two.

Cooking time will differ based on how thick your fish is, but if you use sauce that is hot, plus a pre-heated oven, you probably are looking at about 15 minutes. Serve immediately. I served this with a arugula salad tossed in 1/2 tsp. truffle oil and 1/3 lemon juiced, salt and fresh pepper- - - so yummy, and kind diet-like too!
I did this whole recipe in one pan, see here... it's new, and I love it!

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