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Pan Fried Tilapia with Salsa Verde

March 16, 2010

This feels like such a healthy dish and it has tons of flavor from the salsa verde.  This isn’t the typical Mexican-style salsa

tilapia with salsa verde

verde made with tomatillos; instead, this is an Italian herb sauce full of parsley, basil and mint, made tangy with capers, vinegar and Dijon.  It has tons of flavor and is great with everything on the plate.  This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver (although I used tilapia instead of sole) and I made half the salsa verde amount Jamie’s recipe called for, and it was still more than enough.  The leftovers are great on potatoes for another dish.  Jamie also recommends you boil the potatoes and steam the broccoli- very healthy, but I decided to roast them instead and loved the flavor.  Serves 2.


For the salsa verde:

1/2 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

a handful of capers, drained and chopped

a handful of cornichon, drained and finely chopped

3 quality anchovy fillets in oil, finely chopped (or a heaping teaspoon of anchovy paste)

1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1/2 a bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked and finely chopped

1/2 a bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped (or less if you’re leery about using too much mint)

1/2 T Dijon mustard

1-2 T red wine vinegar

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fish and vegetables:

2 large tilapia fillets (or more, depending on how much you’d like)

1 T olive oil, plus more for roasting

1/2 T butter, cut into small dice

1/4 c all-purpose flour, for dredging

1/2 lb tiny new potatoes, cut in half, or quartered if larger

1 bunch broccoli rabe, thick ends cut off

1/2 a lemon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss potatoes with some olive oil (about 1-1/2 tablespoons) to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 30 minutes, until a knife has a little resistance at the center when inserted into the potato.   Push potatoes to the side of the pan and add the broccoli rabe, and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast another 10-15 minutes, until potatoes and broccoli stalks are tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, capers, cornichons, anchovies and herbs.  Mix in Dijon mustard, 1 T red wine vinegar and olive oil and add more vinegar if desired.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Season the fish with salt and pepper and toss in the flour, shaking off the excess.  Heat 1 T olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  When hot, add fish and cook until the flour has a pale yellow color (about 2-3 minutes).  Flip fillets, add butter pieces around the pan and continue cooking until cooked through and flaky, another 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness.  Remove fillets to a plate and keep warm.  Turn off the heat under pan and allow to cool for about 30 seconds.  Squeeze lemon juice into pan and shake the pan to mix it with the butter and prevent it from scorching.  Turn off heat.

To plate, place potatoes and broccoli rabe on plates, and arrange the fillets on the plate.  Dribble the lemon butter sauce over the filets (there’s not much), spoon a generous helping of salsa verde over the filets, and serve.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Amanda permalink
    October 8, 2011 1:30 pm

    I made this for dinner last night and it was great! Dan was super impressed. I loved the tilapia that way – I think I’m going to start buying it more often since it was so easy and good!

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