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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Broiled Tilapia with Lemon Artichoke Pesto



This week is a "detox" week, having gorged ourselves on fast food on our recent road trip to the Redwoods. My toddler actually begged for "nugget" and "fry" on multiple occasions today. Multiple!

Honestly, just the thought of eating French fries right now is enough to send me in search of some veggies to crunch just to get the idea out of my head.

I've planned some light, mostly vegetarian and seafood dishes to get us through the withdrawals. Though we're not having it this week, this dish is one of my favorite ways to eat through the giant bags of tilapia I pick up at Costco. I love tilapia because it is quick-cooking and versatile. I picked up some lemon artichoke pesto from the store on a whim. It was so fabulous, but spendy. I knew I could recreate it for ever so much cheaper. All you need are a few things you probably already have in the pantry! (That is, if, like me, you have marinated artichokes in your pantry most of the time...)

It's a wonderful meal for a buy weeknight. The fish cooks in just a few minutes, and you will love the pesto. We've used the pesto in panini with chicken and fontina cheese -- delectable! I'm excited to find other ways to use it up.


Broiled Tilapia with Lemon Artichoke Pesto

Ingredients:

for lemon artichoke pesto
6 oz. marinated artichokes
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
pinch red pepper flakes (I like Aleppo Pepper)
2 tsp. parsley flakes (or fresh parsley, chopped)
salt and pepper

oil as needed (olive, canola, or a blend you like)


4 tilapia fillets
lemon pepper seasoning
lemon wedges, for serving


Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine artichokes, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until finely chopped and well combined, about 10 pulses. Add oil as needed, mixing well either by hand or in the food processor, to loosen the mixture to an easily-spreadable consistency. Set aside.

Pat tilapia fillets dry with a paper towel. Coat evenly in a light layer of lemon pepper seasoning, and drizzle lightly with oil. Place on greased baking sheet under broiler set to high. Broil on one side for about 2 minutes, then gently turn over and continue to broil for another 2 minutes or so. Fish is done when fillets are opaque and flake easily when gently pulled with a fork.

When ready to serve, top each fillet with a good portion of artichoke pesto. Provide lemon wedges on the side, if desired.

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