Friday, July 13, 2012

Tilapia with Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

Do you remember my recent comment on having a fresh basil plant in the backyard?  I love having fresh basil at my fingertips and so I decided to use some on this recipe tonight.  This recipe has a lot of the aspects of Chicken Parmesan, but it is made with tilapia fillets instead.  The tilapia fillets were floured, dipped in egg, and dredged in Panko breadcrumbs combined with an equal amount of grated Parmesan cheese before being sauteed (just as you would chicken).  I served it over a bed of baby spinach and topped it with a roasted Caprese Salad.

Gerry and I both loved this dish which had similar flavors of Chicken Parmesan but it was much lighter using the fish and the fresh tomato Caprese salad on top.  I'm sure this will make another appearance on our menu this summer.

Tilapia with Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad
Makes 2 servings

For the Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad:
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
Kosher salt
Pinch of sugar
1/4 cup cup cubed fresh mozzarella
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

For the tilapia:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
splash of water or milk
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tilapia fillets, patted dry
1 tablespoon olive oil

For serving:
Baby spinach leaves

For the roasted tomatoes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the tomatoes with the oil, salt, and sugar.  Spread in a single layer and cook about 20 minutes, tossing once.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  Using tongs, transfer to a medium bowl, squeezing some of the tomatoes to break them (it lets the juices permeate the whole salad).  Toss with the mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more oil if necessary as well.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the tilapia:  set up an assembly line with three shallow bowls (pie plates work really well).  In the first bowl, add the flour and a pinch of salt.  In the second, beat the eggs with the milk/water.  In the third, mix the panko, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and garlic powder.

Preheat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Season the tilapia fillets with salt and pepper.

One at a time, dredge the tilapia in the flour, then dip in the egg, allowing excess to drip off.  Finally coat with the panko/Parmesan mixture, pressing lightly to adhere the crumbs to the fish.  Repeat with the remaining piece.

Cook the tilapia in the oil about 2-3 minutes per side, or until it flakes easily with a fork.

Place baby spinach leaves on two serving plated.   Place the tilapia fillet on the bed of spinach and  top with the roasted tomato salad.  Serve immediately.

Slightly adapted from Pink

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