Saturday, January 5, 2013

Baked Tilapia with Arugula Walnut Pesto and Breadcrumbs

Since we both love fish, I decided this recipe was perfect for tonight.  It was simply baked tilapia fillets coated with an arugula pesto and coated with seasoned breadcrumbs.  This was a very simple recipe to prepare and the results packed a punch of flavor.  I served it over a bed of couscous which was the perfect combination.  The final touch was a squirt of fresh lemon juice on the plate before eating. 

Baked Tilapia with Arugula Walnut Pesto and Breadcrumbs
Makes 4 servings

For the pesto:
2 cups arugula leaves
1/4 cup raw walnuts, lightly toasted
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 For the tilapia:
4 (6 ounce each) tilapia fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

For the pesto:
In a bowl of a food processor or a blender, briefly pulse arugula leaves.  Add chopped, toasted walnuts and minced garlic.

Pulse several times until mixture is finely chopped, but still with some texture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necesary.

Add finely grated Parmesan cheese, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

With the motor running, slowly pour in extra-virgin olive oil and run until combined.

For the tilapia:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.  Lay the tilapia fillets in the baking dish and spread 1 1/2 tablespoons pesto on top of each fillet.

Season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.  Top the tilapia with the seasoned breadcrumbs.

Bake until the tilapia is just cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.  Serve with lemon wedges.

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